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Leo S. Kijowski Memorial Scholarship

Leo S. Kijowski was a lifelong resident of Armstrong County who fought in the Korean War.  While on patrol in Korea in October, 1951, a bomb exploded near him and burnt over 55% of his body, 30% of which were 3rd degree burns.  Leo spent a total of two years at the Fort Sam Houston Burn Center and had his weight drop to as little as 75 lbs.  He then spent two more years at the Aspinwall VA Hospital where he went through painful physical therapy and numerous plastic surgeries.  At times during his hospitalization he came close to death.

Leo received numerous medals, including the Purple Heart for his service.  Upon returning home, Leo spent much time recuperating in veteran’s hospitals, but he furthered his education by attending St. Vincent’s College, and was involved in citizen efforts to improve Ford City.  He joined the Ford City Lion’s Club and became one of its most active and productive leaders.  Leo was a Lion for over thirty five years, serving as the Club president and chairman of numerous committees.  Not only was he instrumental in activities that raised money for building and maintaining the Ford City Public Library, but he also guided the efforts involving the design and the raising of funds to erect the monument to our nation’s veterans in Ford Park.  He was an active promoter of the annual Candlelight Service each Memorial Day, the Meals on Wheels Program, and the Youth Work Referral Service.  The Lions presented him with the Achievement Award in 1970, the District Service Award for Lionism in 1981, and the Outstanding Humanitarian Award to Lionism and Community in 1983.  Leo was a member of the Ford City Planning and Zoning Commission for six years, he helped to formulate the Comprehensive Master Plan that made possible the renewal of Ford City during its Renaissance and was also involved in the planning and construction of the Ford Park gazebo.  In 1995, he was inducted into the Ford City Hall of Fame. 

Leo lived to the age of 91 and found a way to continually selflessly volunteer in the local community in spite of all of his injuries.  

Scholarship Details

  • Available to High School Seniors
  • Nonrenewable
  • Scholarship will be split into 2 awards
  • Applicant must:
    • Be graduating from Armstrong School District
    • Be graduating from Armstrong School District, Freeport School District, Leechburg School District, Apollo-Ridge School District or Redbank Valley School District
    • Must be enrolled in an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university

Essay Question

Please write an essay explaining why you have chosen your field of study and what your career goals and aspirations are. Include items such as experience and personal traits that will make you excel in your career path.