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Spinoso Masters Scholarship Awards $30,000 to Local High School Graduates

The DeKalb County Community Foundation is pleased to announce the 2020 Spinoso Masters Scholarship recipients. Six individuals will receive a total of $30,000 to use toward Masters and/or Doctoral level education. The award recipients are Karrigan Cowan, David Long, Margaret Meyer, Paul Un, Taylor Volk, and Lauren Zaeske.

To receive a Spinoso Masters Scholarship, individuals must be graduates of a high school located in DeKalb County and enrolled in a post-undergraduate institution working toward a masters or higher degree in any field of study.

The six award recipients have a variety of educational pursuits:

  • Karrigan Cowan is a graduate of Hinckley Big-Rock and is pursuing her Doctor of Physical Therapy at Northern Illinois University
  • David Long is a graduate of DeKalb High School and is pursuing his Masters in Public Administration from Gannon University
  • Margaret Meyer is a graduate of Sycamore High School and is pursuing her Masters in Genetic Counseling at Indiana University
  • Paul Un is a graduate of DeKalb High School and is pursuing his Masters in International Relations at the University of Chicago
  • Taylor Volk is a graduate of DeKalb High School and is pursuing her Masters in Nonprofit Management at DePaul University
  • Lauren Zaeske is a graduate of Somonauk High School and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Kansas

Scholarship recipient Taylor Volk stated, “I don’t have enough words of gratitude for this display of support in my academic and professional endeavors. I’m honored to be a recipient of the 2020 Spinoso Masters Scholarship. With this award, my financial burden is lighter which allows me to focus on the most important aspect of my academic pursuits– learning. The Spinoso’s generosity inspires me to do well in school and in work so that, hopefully, I too will be able to help students achieve their goals as they are helping me achieve mine.”

Donors John and Vivian Spinoso are long-time residents of DeKalb County with a strong desire to support continuing education. In its eighth year as a scholarship award at the Community Foundation, the Spinoso Masters Scholarship has awarded over $240,000 to local graduates.

For information about scholarships available at the Community Foundation, please contact Grants Director Tiffany McQueen Lewis at 815-748-5383 or tiffany@dekalbccf.org.

Pictured above: 2020 Spinoso Masters Scholarship recipients (left to right): Karrigan Cowan, David Long, Margaret Meyer, Paul Un, Taylor Volk, and Lauren Zaeske.

Learn more about the Spinoso Masters Scholarship >

“Receiving a scholarship like this is profoundly meaningful. Often, higher education is misunderstood by those around me who aren’t in my shoes. They see me putting my life “on hold,” as if I won’t live until I’m on the other side. I feel very much alive, and I am experiencing abundant life as a student. Being a student feels like my full-time job. Every day is a seed investing in the future. I am slowly starting to see some of those seeds grow, and some even bloom; I am content knowing that what I’m working towards takes time. Your investment in me is not only financial provision, but makes me feel validated in the work I am pursuing. Thank you for seeing the importance of and pouring valuable resources into my education. I promise that I am taking hold of every opportunity and seeking to make the most of this education. Your donation liberates my mind from financial worries, and that head space is now free to think deeply about my clients, research, education, and work. Thank you!” – Lauren Zaeske

“I would like to sincerely thank John and Vivian Spinoso for their generous support through the Spinoso Master’s Scholarship. Having taken on debt to attend my undergraduate institution, there was a point in time where I didn’t know if graduate school would be financially feasible for me. When I was admitted to the University of Chicago I knew I wanted to attend, even with the cost, but I worried that the additional loans would mean having to delay the start of my career. However, because of the generosity of the Spinoso Master’s Scholarship, I am now in a position where I am free to pursue my education and career without having to base my life around loan repayments. Instead, I am free to devote my continuing education to the service that I was raised to value- and that is what I thank you for the most.” – Paul Un

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