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EC music student creates scholarship as a memorial to daughter

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Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

Photo credit: Emma Dimaggio

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An El Camino music student is planning to create a scholarship in memory of her daughter who died in July of this year.

“Since (Jennifer) is no longer alive, I want to keep her name by creating a scholarship,” Lorna Katz, 57, music major with an emphasis in voice, said. “So that years later when I’m gone, there is this legacy that is continuing on forever.”

Katz established the “Jennifer Worrell Music Scholarship” as a memorial of her daughter, who died by suicide.

The scholarship was originally named the “Katz Scholarship” but was later changed because Katz thought it would be best to name it after her daughter, Jennifer, in support of her music.

Katz is establishing the scholarship using money from a charity family foundation that was passed on to her husband and her sisters-in-law. Katz is using $1,000 from the foundation for her scholarship.

“Recently my father-in-law passed away. He was very well off and had an organization called ‘The Ronald L Katz Family Foundation’ which gives out scholarships and donates to charitable organizations,” Katz said.

In spring of 2017, Katz was awarded a music scholarship through EC upon encouragement from her music professors to apply for scholarships. Katz received the “Engelbarts Scholarship” of $1,000. At the time, she really needed the money for her tuitions, Katz said.

Katz said she always wanted to establish a scholarship for students, long before being awarded her own scholarship.

Katz believes in returning the favor and hopes that creating her own scholarship will lead her to fulfill that desire.

“I always wanted to give back,” Katz said. “I feel you should pay it forward.”

According Katz, Students hoping to apply for the “Jennifer Worrell Music Scholarship” must have a 3.0 GPA, be a music major, take a minimum of six units, and audition for the EC Music Committee. Paperwork for the “Jennifer Worrell Music Scholarship” is already turned into the ECC Foundation, Katz said.

Andrea Sala, executive director of ECC Foundation for over two years, was delighted to hear about an EC student wanting to give a scholarship to other students.

“(Katz) is doing an endowment scholarship so that legacy will forever live at El Camino,” Sala said. “She knows what all our students are going through and for her to be able to identify that and give back it is pretty amazing.”

Katz’s music professor, Joanna Nachef, supports the idea of Katz’s scholarship.

“I was blown away by (Katz) generosity and her desire to keep the legacy of her daughter alive at El Camino,” Nachef said.

Katz wants students to reach their educational goals in life with the help of this scholarship. In the next five years, Katz hopes to establish a second scholarship for students in the medical field.

“(I want) to encourage students to do their best,” Katz said. “To go for every opportunity, there (the scholarship) is to help them achieve that goal.”

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EC music student creates scholarship as a memorial to daughter