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Scholarship Overview

DECEMBER 6, 2023 – MARCH 6, 2024


Elizabeth Testa was one of three daughters born to James and Katherine Tucker in Oakland, California.  She had an early private education at Dominican Upper School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Cornell University and a Masters’ in Fine Arts and Writing from Vermont College of Arts.  

Throughout her life, Elizabeth held a variety of Job Titles, including Construction Project Manager, Independent Consultant, Publicity and Editorial Director, and Executive Director.  Some of her interests included writing, horseback riding, hiking and being with her husband and extended family.  Her greatest pleasure came when she took the role of Executive Director of the Durango Education Foundation from 2009 until her passing in 2017.  She particularly enjoyed programs and projects which excited and inspired students.  Her respectful personality and excellent communication skills enhanced the Foundation’s role throughout the Durango School District. 

Elizabeth understood the importance of funding innovative programs, extraordinary experiences, and basic educational fundamentals for students of School District 9-R.  She was most passionate about supporting students struggling with life’s hardships which limited their ability or desire to pursue further educational opportunities following their high school graduation.


Application Cycle: November 15 - February 15
Deadline to Submit: February 15 by 11:59 PM
Award Amount: $3,000 to a regionally accredited post-secondary choice school
Selection: Recipients will be selected by the DEF Scholarship Committee, in conjunction with representative(s) of the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education.


Eligible applicants will be:
-Graduating from Durango High School or Big Picture High School at the end of the current academic year
-Earning a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in high school
-Planning to enroll full-time in a career or technical Associate’s certificate or degree program at an accredited community college or college/university in the fall directly after your graduation from high school.

Your application will be evaluated on:
-Individual determination to succeed
-Future goals and plans to achieve them
-Ability to communicate the hardships you have overcome or currently face
-Self-motivation in completing your education


Applications are by electronic submission only via the link provided below. If you do not have access to a computer, please inform your High School Counselor or Educator. To ensure a complete application, please carefully read through the outlined details below.

A complete application will include:
-All student information (i.e. name, contact information, GPA, intended colleges, etc)
-Current transcripts including senior year mid-term grades. Please Note: a complete senior transcript may be required before the scholarship is funded to college
-Letter of Interest (250-500 Words) discussing:

Please tell us your career and education goals and how you plan to achieve them in light of the hardships you have overcome or currently face.

- One (1) Letter of Recommendation (LOR) from a teacher, supervisor, coach/activity sponsor or counselor

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