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2023 Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship Recipient Announced

The Steward School
Scholarship winner chosen following a rigorous application process
The Steward School community will welcome a new Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship recipient in fall 2023: Lourdes Olivencia ’27. The scholarship honors Debbie Robson, associate head of school for community advancement, who died in 2014. A beloved member of the School community, Ms. Robson was known for her enthusiasm, Spartan spirit, and problem-solving skills. 

This prestigious scholarship provides four years of full Upper School tuition for a rising ninth grader who is new to Steward. Recipients are chosen for their academic distinction, outstanding character, and extracurricular involvement. This is the ninth year that Steward has awarded the scholarship. 

Lourdes Olivencia ’27

Lourdes, currently a student at St. Mary’s Catholic School, was in class when she found out she’d been named the 2023 Robson Scholar. “My friends and I, and all my teachers, ran down the hallway just absolutely going crazy, crying tears of joy and hugging,” she recalled. “Ms. Robson was an exceptional woman, and her legacy is something that is an honor to carry on.”

Keenly interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) since childhood, Lourdes is also passionate about NASA and space exploration. A 2022 sub-orbital rocket included an experiment that Lourdes had spent years working on in conjunction with Cubes in Space, an international program. “It was an amazing feeling” to watch the rocket take off, remembered Lourdes. “Engineering keeps my mind figuring out different problems … it’s so much fun!” 

Lourdes’ other interests include piano, choir, karate, cross country, track, basketball, and volleyball. She especially enjoys team sports, which offer opportunities for collaboration and growth. “Being on a team means … you learn from each other,” she noted. Community service is close to Lourdes’ heart. She recently joined some friends to create candygrams for patients at Massey Cancer Center. Giving back, she said, is important, because “I want to be a servant in my community.” 

Asked what she most looks forward to at Steward, Lourdes didn’t hesitate.“Being part of the Spartan community, Minimester, playing for and cheering on sports teams, and meeting new friends!” she said. 

Honoring a Legacy 
On April 1, the Steward community gathered on campus for a special brunch to welcome Lourdes to the School and to celebrate Ms. Robson’s legacy. Members of Ms. Robson’s family, including her son, Kip Robson, attended the event, as did several past recipients of the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship. Make a gift to Steward’s Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship.

Past recipients of the Debbie Robson Merit Scholarship:

Natalia Jimenez ’26 (2022)
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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