San Lorenzo Valley High School class of 2024Education Local News 

SLV High School Students Receive Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarships 

Two remarkable San Lorenzo Valley High School (SLVHS) grads are recipients of the Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarship. 

Aliyah Bowers

Aliyah has always known that she wanted a career in the medical field, but now she’s certain that she wants to become a pediatric nurse. She’s driven to help others the way that she’s been supported in her own medical journey over the past two years. Aliyah has been a member of the National Honors Society for her entire four years of high school and up until last year was a competitive athlete at San Lorenzo Valley High School until she started experiencing terrible headaches and dizziness. After months of tests, she finally got diagnosed with an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis. She’s heading to De Anza Community College to obtain her A.S. degree, choosing this college because it is close to home and the hospital where she receives regular treatment. She plans to transfer after two years to get her B.S. and then R.N. degrees. Aliyah has been deeply inspired by words of advice from her neuroimmunologist, “Never give up and know that your diagnosis does not define you.” Aliya’s outward focus, determination, and strength will ensure that she has the career she dreams of, “where kids like me feel heard and cared for.” 

Aliyah says, “I am so beyond grateful to be receiving this scholarship because my family is low income, and this will help me in many ways. It will help with any tuition costs, books, school supplies, and everything else school related. Thank you so much again!”

Alyssa Struthers

There’s a saying in sports, “Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.” According to the athletic director at SLVHS, Alyssa personifies that saying. He’s quick to clarify that of course she’s a talented softball player, but it’s her work ethic that has made her stand out on the field during her three years on the varsity team. Alyssa also plays travel softball on a club team in San Jose. The tuition is steep, so she works two jobs to help lift the financial weight off her parents, one of whom is on medical disability. All the hard work translates into the classroom too where she maintained a solid 3.5 grade point average, particularly excelling in English, Literature, and Writing classes. She’s been recruited to play ball for Concordia University Irvine where she plans to major in sports media and marketing, combining her skill with words and her love of sports.

Alyssa says, “By receiving this scholarship I am blessed with the opportunity to continue my academic and collegiate career playing softball at Concordia University Irvine. This scholarship will allow me more time to focus on the college experience and studies while balancing the role of a collegiate athlete.”

The Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarship Fund was founded by Jim and Katalin DeBord as a way to create a legacy in memory of their beloved son Jack DeBord who tragically passed away in 2019. The award of $5,000 (renewable annually) has been available for a graduating senior from SLVHS who has a minimum 3.0 GPA, and who has excelled in a team sport. Recipients may attend any accredited community, vocational, or two or four-year college. The scholarship is in its final year after starting in 2020.


Photos and article were contributed by the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.


Have community news to share? The team at the San Lorenzo Valley Post welcomes your Santa Cruz Mountains news, story ideas, photos, and letters. Send us an email.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay connected to news and events in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Related posts

Leave a Comment