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The Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarship

Honoring the Memory of a Beloved Son

In the wake of the tragic loss of their son Jack, Jim and Katalin DeBord created, and then turned to the Community Foundation to steward the Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarship. The fund will provide a $20,000 scholarship ($5,000 per year for each year of college) annually for five years to a graduating student athlete at San Lorenzo Valley High School.

“We wanted to honor Jack’s memory with a scholarship. We wanted to ensure that his name would not be forgotten,” said Jim. “Along with the generous donations to the fund, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of love and support from the community.”

A Lasting Legacy

Katalin added, “The rising costs of college is so challenging for local families. Being able to help students earn a college degree is a tenfold magnification of that education as it has such a ripple effect on not only the individual, but our community. It goes beyond a tangible dollar amount and that is the most meaningful and lasting legacy Jack could leave.”

RJ Kindred is the inaugural recipient of the Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarship. Selected by an independent review committee not associated with the DeBord family, RJ is a scholar, athlete, and community volunteer.

Scholar, Athlete, Community Volunteer

Currently a Boulder Creek Fire Department volunteer, RJ will be starting Cabrillo College in the fall with plans to transfer to a four-year university in Montana or Idaho. During his time at Cabrillo, he’ll go through EMT training with the long term goal of serving as first a paramedic and then a firefighter.

“This scholarship helps me so much!” said RJ. “Thanks to the free tuition at Cabrillo College, this funding will help cover the cost of paramedic training and fees at my transfer school, which are very expensive.”

The True Value of Life

RJ knew Jack as a fellow athlete and friend both on the field and off. Jack was starting quarterback on the JV team and RJ was a quarterback for the varsity team.

“Jack showed me the true value of life,” said RJ. “When Jack died, I became aware of how fast everything can be taken from you. Jack has taught me to savor every moment that this amazing world has given me.”

RJ credits Jack in shaping his life’s direction to being a firefighter.

“I want to help people when it is their worst day and help them get through it. Jack has helped shape me into the person I am today and he has no idea.” - RJ Kindred

Faith Leads the Way

In the midst of this pain and loss, Katalin chooses to embrace hope and she and Jim take deep refuge in their Christian faith. She cites Romans 8:28 as their guide, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”