Montini Catholic recently congratulated six Kazma Scholarship award recipients. Each year, the Kazma Family Foundation, in conjunction with the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF), presents awards to eighth graders actively attending a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Joliet and who are interested in attending a local Catholic High School.
This year's Kazma Foundation Scholarship recipients are:
Class of 2022
Ruby Dawson, St. Pius X Parish, Lombard
Justin Gergen, St. Pius X Parish,, Lombard
Emily Labno, St. Mary of Gostyn Parish, Downers Grove
Dennis Nilson, Christ the King Parish, Lombard
Juliano Ortiz, Mary Queen of Heaven Parish, Elmhurst
Class of 2020
Margaret Connelly, Visitation Parish, Elmhurst
On Saturday, September 15th, the Montini Catholic recipients attended a Mass in their honor, celebrated by Bishop R. Daniel Conlon, at the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier at the Blanchette Catholic Center in Crest Hill, Illinois. Also in attendance were scholarship recipients from Benet Academy, Bishop McNamara, IC Catholic Prep, Joliet Catholic Academy, St. Francis and Providence.
The Kazma family proudly supports Catholic education by providing scholarships to the seven Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Joliet. The Class of 2022 represents the 15th class of high school students that the Kazma family supports and mentors through their generosity. Since their inception, they have supported a total of 577 students in the Diocese of Joliet and over 1,000 students worldwide.
The Kazma Family Foundation was established in 1997 by Gerald and Margaret Kazma. At that time, their daughter, Leigh-Anne Kazma, was named president and sole employee. The main mission of the foundation is to provide financial assistance to students and their families seeking a Catholic education. Ms. Kazma serves on several boards including the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF), Chicago's Big Shoulders Fund and numerous elementary and secondary schools. Ms. Kazma has dedicated her entire career to personally engaging with students who receive financial aid from the foundation. She serves as a mentor for her scholarship recipients, reviewing their progress and enjoying lunch and conversation with them at their high schools. They began providing college scholarships to students at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in the Archdiocese of Chicago and branched out to provide scholarships to students throughout the Chicagoland area, including the Diocese of Joliet. In recent years, the Kazma Family has established scholarships at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Ava Maria University in Florida, St. Joan of Arc school in Florida, Universidad de Don Bosco in El Salvador, and has helped fun school construction in Honduras.)
"Congratulations to every one of you," said Leigh-Anne Kazma in her address to the recipients after the Mass. "I hope high school is all you want it to be and more!" She added, "My family is blessed and we are honored to be able to share our blessings with others. But, everyone has something to give. Please share your own talents and treasures with others throughout your time in high school, and your lives."
"The Kazma family truly leads by example," said Mr. Joe Langenderfer, Chief Executive Officer at CEF. "It is hard to be a real follower of Christ in today's world. Take advantage of this great opportunity you have been given."
The Mass was followed by a reception where the Kazma family greeted and talked with every scholarship recipient. They vowed to stay in touch with each one and encouraged the students to keep them up to date on what they're learning in high school.
In order to be eligible for a Kazma Scholarship, a student must demonstrate a sense of respect for others, be a good Catholic role model in their community, and receive no less than a "C" letter grade in any of their courses. Student applicants are also asked to submit a 250 word essay on what it means to be a Catholic student.
Each spring, Montini Catholic offers several opportunities for students to apply for scholarship awards. All scholarship opportunities offered by Montini Catholic High School can be explored by visiting the school's 'Admissions' page at: www.Montini.org.
Eighth grade students who will be entering high school in the fall of 2019 and are interested in the Kazma Family Foundation Scholarship may contact Maria Hupp at Montini Catholic at: firstname.lastname@example.org.