News Detail

Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship

The Steward School
Congratulations to Natalia Jimenez.
The Steward School community will welcome a new Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship recipient in fall 2022: Natalia Jimenez ’26. The scholarship honors Debbie Robson, beloved associate head of school for community advancement, who passed away in 2014. The scholarship provides four years of full Upper School tuition for a rising ninth grader who is new to Steward. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic distinction and extracurricular involvement in areas such as athletics, arts, innovation, and community service. This is the eighth year that Steward has awarded the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship.

Celebrating and Honoring 

On April 2, members of the Steward community gathered to celebrate Ms. Robson’s legacy and welcomed Natalia to the Steward family.  View the Steward Snaps from the event. 

Head of School Dan Frank shared his thoughts about the effect that Ms. Robson had on all who knew her, and Associate Director of Admissions Beth Farmer-Smith read aloud a touching letter from Kip Robson, Ms. Robson’s son. 

“My family is so proud to have the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship carry on her legacy at The Steward School,” wrote Mr. Robson. “Each student who receives this prestigious scholarship has earned it because of their outstanding character, and through years of hard work and dedication. As different as you all may be, you are all in this special club together. Robson Scholars are truly one of a kind, and it is your privilege to live a life of helping others and giving back just as my mom did.”

A Multi-Talented Student 

Natalia, who previously participated in Steward’s LEAP (Latino Education and Advancement Program) initiative, will enter Steward as a ninth grader. She is currently enrolled at Saint Bridget Catholic School, where she is on the Honor Roll and serves on the yearbook staff.

Members of Steward’s Scholarship Committee were duly impressed with Natalia during the application process. One member noted, “Natalia presented herself as a hardworking, humble, and responsible young woman.” Another said, “Natalia’s caring and positive attitude is refreshing … her enthusiasm is contagious. I was impressed with her thoughtful responses, care for others, and dedication to her extracurriculars.” 

A multi-talented student, Natalia’s interests include Irish dancing, volleyball, piano, swimming, tennis, and photography. She is especially passionate about Irish dance, which she was inspired to take up after attending a performance by the world-famous Lord of the Dance when she was six years old. In 2021 she won first place in two dance competitions: Digital Rince Reis Hong Kong; and Digital Worlds/Internationals Championships. 

“It was really amazing to feel that all this hard work paid off,” she said of her back-to-back wins. “Having that title of first place in the world, in my grade level, is really satisfying. One day I want to become a professional dancer, and I feel like all this is leading me up to that.”

On her scholarship application, Natalia cited her dedication to community service, including her involvement as a vacation Bible school volunteer and as a performer in charity dance events. 

When she received word that she’d been awarded the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship, Natalia was ecstatic. 

“My mom called my homeroom teacher and said, ‘Tell Natalia I have big news.’  Everyone started cheering … my teacher started crying,” recalled Natalia. “It was really exciting, [knowing I] made my parents really proud.” Asked what she most looks forward to as a Spartan, Natalia beamed. “I look forward to finding my path at Steward academically and artistically,” she said. “And I want to honor Debbie Robson’s legacy by spreading joy and kindness around the Steward community.” 

Past recipients of the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship include:

Xavier Nelson ’25 (2021)
Ana Reveles Leon '24 (2020)
Bella Topich '23 (2019)
Lucia Fogler '22 and Alaina Jefferson '22 (2018)
Jack Morgan '21 and Nicole Odibo '21 (2017)
Matthew Cantor '20 and Sonali Sanjay '20 (2016)
Morgan King '19 and Aayush Lalwaney '19 (2015)


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