Debbink Family Creates New Scholarship in Memory of Daughter Sarah
The Oconomowoc Scholarship Fund is pleased to announce the addition of a new scholarship for Oconomowoc-area students titled the “Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Scholarship.”
Long-time Oconomowoc residents, Dirk and Terry Debbink reached out to the OSF board with the desire to create an annual scholarship in their daughter Sarah’s memory. The award will be a $12,000 scholarship paid out over four years to Oconomowoc High School seniors pursuing degrees in political science or international relations.
Sarah Debbink Langenkamp grew up in Oconomowoc, graduating from OHS in 1998. She attended Boston College to study political science and graduated summa cum laude 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.
Sarah was inducted to the OHS Wall of Fame in 2022. The recognition identifies graduates who have made significant contributions 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 U.S. 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.
On August 25, 2022, Sarah, 42, was tragically killed when a truck turned into her bike lane while she was 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.