Elkhorn Family Honors Son by Establishing the Sam Osborn Memorial Scholarship

Next April, a graduating senior from an Elkhorn public high school will be awarded “The Sam Osborn Memorial Scholarship” for the first time. This opportunity was made possible by the Osborns, an Elkhorn family who lost their son to muscular dystrophy earlier this year. Sam would have graduated from Elkhorn South High School in 2023.

Sam with his siblings from left to right: James, Grace, and William Osborn and his dad Mark Osborn.

Sam Osborn was the youngest of four tremendously close siblings. At six months old, his journey to a diagnosis of congenital muscular dystrophy began.

“The progressive disease debilitates the body, yet leaves the mind intact,” said the Osborn family. “As the disease affected him physically, Sam never let the condition limit his spirit or capacity for kindness. As his body grew more fragile, Sam became a greater source of strength and positivity that brightened the lives of those around him.”

Brilliant, yet never too serious, Sam used his remarkable intellect to bring warmth, humor, and happiness to all. He was expected to live to age eight. He passed away at age 17, having just finished a spectacular academic year as a junior in the 2021/2022 school year. Sam scored a 34 on his ACT exam, which surpassed his brother’s and sister’s score (a fact he would be glad to share).

“Sam illuminated a more fulfilling way to approach life,” said the Osborn Family.

Facing tremendous challenges, he chose to push beyond them. He never resented his disease and instead focused on the opportunities brought to him by being differently abled. With the help of friends and family, Sam enjoyed a lifetimes’ worth of experiences — he was blessed to have many friends who helped him be as independent as possible both inside and outside of school.

Sam Osborn with his mom Nikki Osborn and “Bonus Dad” Andrew Kimball.

The Sam Osborn Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating Elkhorn Public Schools senior who has confronted their own disabilities to achieve academic success, and/or a student who has helped another gain independence from their disabilities.

This scholarship is just one of over 200 community-funded scholarships that will be awarded to EPS graduating seniors this spring. The Foundation works with Elkhorn families and local businesses to award over $500,000 in scholarships every year. Applications for all EPSF scholarships are open from December 1st to February 1st, annually.

If you would like more information on establishing a scholarship or making a donation to an existing scholarship, please visit our Scholarship Program page.