Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Scholarship
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD – $3,000 per year for up to four years of undergraduate degree programs.
ADDITIONAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT– Must be a senior graduating from OHS with plans to major in International Relations or Political Science.
The Story Behind the Scholarship
Sarah Debbink Langenkamp grew up in Oconomowoc, graduating from Oconomowoc High School in 1998. The daughter of Dirk and Terry Debbink studied political science and graduated summa cum laude from Boston College in 2002.
A U.S. foreign service officer with the State Department for 17 years, Sarah served in many of the world’s most challenging diplomatic missions: Ukraine, Côte d’Ivoire, Iraq, Uganda, and Haiti, in addition to taking on challenging assignments in the State Department’s offices handling NATO affairs and the UN Security Council issues. Her talents were so strong that during the Obama administration the State Department elevated her as deputy director of the Office of UN Political Affairs.
Volunteering to serve in Iraq in 2009-2010, Sarah served in the Embassy’s political-military office, managing border control issues to block terrorists from infiltrating the country and managing military drawdown issues as the U.S. military presence decreased.
Sarah was inducted to the Oconomowoc High School Wall of Fame in 2022. The recognition identifies graduates who have made significant contributions to mankind and allows current OHS students to be aware of the promise and challenge that they can achieve these accomplishments as well.
In July of 2022, Sarah returned to the United States after concluding an assignment with the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine. Working there and later in Poland after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, she led a team managing some of the U.S. government’s most sensitive and important priorities in Ukraine. She was one of the few officers from the U.S. Embassy who remained in Poland, near the border with Ukraine, after the invasion.
On August 25, 2022, Sarah, 42, tragically died in a collision with a truck while riding home on a bicycle in Bethesda, Maryland. She is survived by her husband of 16 years, Dan Langenkamp and their two sons Oliver and Axel.
Sarah’s husband Dan and her father Dirk are actively working with representatives in the U.S. Congress to pass legislation named in Sarah’s honor that would allow more access to federal funds by local municipalities for bicycle and pedestrian safety measures. Through all of these efforts, they hope to help prevent future needless tragedies on our nation’s roads and highways.
The Debbink Family
Pictured from left to right: Terry Debbink, Dan Langenkamp, Oliver Langenkamp, Axel Langenkamp, Sarah Debbink Langenkamp,
and Dirk Debbink