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Serving DeKalb County, IL Since 1993

The DeKalb County Community Foundation works with a variety of donors and funds to support scholarship awards for students in DeKalb County. It’s exciting to witness the sheer joy in the moment of acceptance, but what is the true impact for the student? Do scholarship awards enable students to pursue their dreams and motivate them to aim high? Let’s hear what the students have to say!

Tory Tilton (Sycamore)

  • Scholarship award received: Spinoso Masters Scholarship 
    The Spinoso Masters Scholarship provides a scholarship for up to $10,000 to a deserving student to cover tuition costs of post-undergraduate or masters studies. Eligible applicants must have graduated from a DeKalb County High School but do not need to currently live in DeKalb County.
  • Year that award was received: 2015
  • School attended using scholarship award: Stanford Law School 
  • Thank you to Fund donors: John and Vivian Spinoso

I wouldn’t have the job I have now–my dream job– without obtaining the legal education that I did.

What are you doing now for your career?

I am a staff attorney in the Housing Practice Group at Legal Aid Chicago. Legal Aid Chicago provides high quality, free legal services to people living in poverty in Cook County. I specialize in housing issues, where I work with vulnerable people who are often living with disabilities or are survivors of domestic violence to prevent them from being wrongfully evicted, request a reasonable accommodation related to their housing, or preserve their housing voucher.

How significant was your education in reaching your career goals?

I wouldn’t have the job I have now–my dream job– without obtaining the legal education that I did. I am grateful that I received such an incredible legal education and could bring that education and those skills back to Chicago to help the most vulnerable navigate the civil legal system.

How did the Spinoso Masters Scholarship impact your ability to afford your education?

Law school is incredibly expensive and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in public interest law, which unfortunately pays far less than working at a large private firm. The Spinoso Scholarship helped ease the financial burden of pursuing such an expensive education.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. Thank you so much John and Vivian!

Pictured above: Donors John and Vivian Spinoso stand outside the Community Foundation with scholarship recipient Tory Tilton.

Learn more about the Spinoso Masters Scholarship


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