Max Wang Memorial Fund

Max Wang (Dabney, 2019), took his own life on September 20, 2019. He was 22 years and 33 days old. He had graduated from the California Institute of Technology only 3 months ago. In his family, he is survived by only his mother, Jennifer Xu, and his maternal grandparents, as his brother Steve had taken his own life earlier this year.

I, William Xu, was his best friend. I know that Max was a caring soul who was always there for others. When others were hurting, he would be there to listen. When I wanted to reach out to someone, he was right by my side. He never turned down those who wanted help or advice. He also rarely had a bad word to say about anyone and always embraced newcomers. But when he needed help the most, I failed to return the favor. This is why Jennifer and I want to further his legacy by reducing the stigma of mental illness and supporting those who have lost their loved ones due to suicide.

We are planning on spending the proceeds in 3 different ways. Firstly, we will spend the money to help cover funeral and cremation costs. Due to the generosity of Our Savior Lutheran Church, this will not be excessive, roughly $1000-$2000. We are also planning to help Jennifer cover living expenses and car repairs as she settles in the LA area after moving from Texas. Lastly, we will be donating the bulk of the proceeds to charities that specialize in mental health and outreach programs. We are consider companies such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) or the Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities (MHACC). Jennifer is also planning to start her own organization to reduce the stigma of seeking professional mental help in young adults.  We intend for Jennifer to withdraw the money into a dedicated account meant to handle donations from both Steve and Max's GoFundMe pages. Jennifer will be managing this account for both personal use and philanthropic activities.

I am in contact with many people at Caltech Student Affairs, and we are planning on figuring out ways to improve the Caltech support network to increase access to resources, break down stigma, and lower the risk that such a tragedy will occur in the future.

If you cannot contribute money to this cause, you can help in other ways as well. You can check on friends who you haven't heard from in a while, just to see how they are doing. You can refer your friends to a therapist, and offer to go as well if they are hesitant. You can also reach out to your friends and family if you are feeling sad, unwell, or depressed, then honestly discuss your feelings. Finally, you can help just by being a good listener and a compassionate being. It's what Max would have wanted.

Thank you,
William Xu and Jennifer Xu

Donations (351)

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  • Jasmine Quixote
    • $10 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 4 yrs
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Organizer and beneficiary

William Xu
College Park, MD
Jennifer Xu

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