Debbie Izzo

Debbie Izzo

A Moraine Valley Community College alumnus is offering a new scholarship in honor of the people who supported her pursuit of an education. Debbie Izzo, a member of the Moraine Valley 2018 Alumni Hall of Fame and the 2018 Distinguished Alumnus, created the scholarship for a student enrolled in Moraine Valley’s Nursing Program.

“I wanted to start the scholarship because everyone sometimes needs that helping hand, especially in situations where there’s only one parent caring for their kids, yet they still have a dream they want to realize,” said Izzo, who is a certified registered nurse, childbirth educator and lactation counselor at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

The Lor-Izzo scholarship is named for Izzo’s mother, Lore, her aunt, Lorraine, and her husband, Gil. “All three were very instrumental in making sure I had what I needed to get through the Nursing Program, whether it was time, money, childcare, extra motivation, encouragement, pep talks—whatever I needed,” Izzo said.

“After my divorce, I couldn’t fathom the thought of nursing school as a single mom of four,” she said. “How would I do it all? When and where would I study and still maintain my household?” Once she remarried, her husband convinced her to forge ahead and go back to school. “He drove me to Moraine Valley to turn in my application, built me an office in the basement and handled household duties. All this because he believed in me.”

Izzo received a scholarship while at Moraine Valley and looks at this scholarship as her way to pay it forward. “I know my mom and Aunt Lorraine would greatly approve of me paying it forward to another single mom with kids who is in the Nursing Program,” Izzo said. “They witnessed it firsthand but eventually saw me come out on the other side successful and proud. Gil not only saw me struggle, endure and succeed, but he continually witnessed what can come out of being that strong, supportive and loving partner to someone who has a dream.”

Calling it a win-win situation, Izzo said she feels fortunate to be in a position to help another nursing student. “The nursing student wins by hopefully decreasing the anxiety associated with the financial burden that comes with nursing school, and ultimately the patients will benefit from her knowledge, skills and compassion.”