We awarded the fifth KJO Memorial Scholarship of 2020 to Amanda DeCesare of Nazareth Academy.  


The value of this scholarship is $2,500 annually, renewable for 4 years. All recipients must maintain a B average in college.  This is a category 3 scholarship.  

For more information on the scholarship requirements and award values, please see our information page here. 


Sports and Activities in High School:

Amanda was a four-year member of the varsity basketball team, they were second in the state in 2018 and third in the state in 2019.  She was the co-captain of the team senior year. Amanda was a four-year member of the soccer team.

She recalls lining the streets for Kelli’s funeral procession and releasing balloons up to heaven. She remembers how many people were touched by the joy she spread in her young life.

The scholarship committee had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda as part of the category 3 scholarship process, it was a pleasure to meet her. 

Highlights from the Essay:

In Amanda’s own words: “Unfortunately during my junior year, I tore a ligament in my hip that required surgery to repair. I thought nothing good could from sitting out from the things I loved (including sports), but it turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in my life. I was determined not to let an injury define who I was. Not being able to play allowed me to be part of the team in other ways and it allowed me to participate in activities that I never had the opportunity to partake in because I was always busy with practice or games.”

“I was selected by the faculty and staff of Nazareth to be a Kairos leader. It was through my commitment to the Kairos retreats that I was seen as a compassionate and caring leader. I was named co-President of the Service Team because of my dedication to helping improve the
lives of the less fortunate. I have been extremely blessed to have been surrounded by many wonderful people that have helped me during my injury.”

Highlights from the Recommendations:

From one of her recommendations:  “Humble is a word that is synonymous with Amanda DeCesare. Her modesty and respect for others always come first. For the last two years, Amanda has been sidelined due to injury during the basketball season, a sport which she loves to play. Yet, she has been at every practice and every game, cheering on her team all the way to the Final Four in the state tournament. When complimented on her sense of sportsmanship and leadership, she brings it back to it the meaning of being a teammate.”

We are happy to add Amanda to the ranks of KJO Memorial Scholarship recipients for 2020. Congratulations!