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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 2021 Spinoso Masters Scholarship recipients. This year, $30,000 is divided among four individuals pursuing master’s or doctoral level education. The recipients are Kayla Baum, Jacob Bjork, Alma Lazaro, and Zachary Stepanski. The scholarships are made possible through the annual generosity of donors John and Vivian Spinoso to the Spinoso Masters Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation. 

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 master’s or higher degree in any field of study. 

The four award recipients have a variety of educational pursuits. Kayla Baum is a 2016 graduate of DeKalb High School and is pursuing a doctorate of physical therapy at Gannon University (Ruskin, FL). Jacob Bjork is a 2016 graduate of Sycamore High School and is pursuing a doctorate of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine (Washington, D.C.). Alma Lazaro is a 2016 graduate of DeKalb High School and is pursuing a master of social work from Aurora University (Aurora, IL). Zachary Stepanski is a 2015 graduate of DeKalb High School and is pursuing a doctorate of physical therapy from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN).

“I want to do something that I am passionate about, and that is meaningful for the good of others,” said scholarship recipient Alma Lazaro. “Thank you to John and Vivian Spinoso. There are no words to express my humble gratitude. I am honored to receive this scholarship. It will forever serve as a reminder that others believe in me and my passion for helping others.”

Donors John and Vivian Spinoso are long-time residents of DeKalb County with a strong desire to support continuing education. In its tenth year of award distributions, the Spinoso Masters Scholarship has awarded a total of $300,000 to local graduates. 

“We are proud each year to partner with the Spinoso family in awarding scholarships to very deserving graduate-level students,” said Foundation Grants Director Tiffany McQueen Lewis. “There are few scholarships that support students beyond undergraduate studies. This assistance empowers graduate-level students to invest more time and energy in their education.”

Learn more about Scholarships at the Community Foundation>

If giving the gift of education is of interest to you, consider donating to an existing Fund at dekalbccf.org/donate or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, IL 60178. For questions or additional information on scholarships, please contact 815-748-5383 or scholarships@dekalbccf.org.


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