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Congratulations to Our Kazma Scholars

Montini Catholic congratulates our eight Kazma Scholarship award recipients from our 2024 and 2025 classes. 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.

Traditionally, scholars are honored at an annual Mass held at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet.  (Due to last year's Covid restrictions on gatherings, the Class of 2024's Mass was postponed until this year.)

This year's Kazma Foundation Scholarship recipients are:

Class of 2024
Marin Ferris
Ruben Galvan
Samuel Hemmersmeier
Nicole Navas

Class of 2025
John Barrett
Joshua Brunke, Jr.
Julia Gergen
Matthew Silveyra

On Friday and Saturday, August 27th and 28th, the Montini Catholic recipients attended Masses in their honor, celebrated by Bishop Ronald A. Hicks.  Also in attendance were scholarship recipients from Benet Academy, Bishop McNamara, IC Catholic Prep, Joliet Catholic Academy, St. Francis and Providence Catholic.

The Kazma family proudly supports Catholic education by providing scholarships to the seven Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Joliet.  The Class of 2025 represents the 18th class of high school students that the Kazma family supports and mentors through their generosity. 

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 fund school construction in Honduras.)

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.

Congratulations to our Kazma Scholars!

Image above L to R: Nicole Navas, Marin Ferris, Samuel Hemmersmeier, Ruben Galvan, Matthew Silveyra, Joshua Brunke and John Barrett (not pictured Julia Gergen)

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