Scholarship in Memory of

Elizabeth Espitia


Elizabeth was born in Columbia, South America and after graduating with a bachelors degree in Business Administration managed parts of a foundry factory owned by her parents.  She was forced to emigrate to escape violence in her community and came to the USA with nothing but her unrelenting spirit and a belief in human kindness.  She learned English, worked distributing newspapers and in ECSU food services to support herself and enrolled at ECSU to finish a second Bachelors degree in business and a Masters in Organizational Behavior.  For the last 14 years of her life she was an attendance coordinator in Windham Middle School, where if kids were missing uniforms she arranged for collection and donation.  If families had no money for laundry, she managed to get the uniforms clean so no school was missed.  If a child missed the bus she found a way to get them to school.  She didn't know the meaning of "no" and was a model of strength with total commitment to the well-being of Windham children.  She was one of the first volunteers for the Windham Task Force to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect.


Elizabeth was married to Luis E Perez-Caban and their son Nathan Perez-Espitia is a WHS graduate and a sophomore at UConn. 


Dr. Catina Caban-Owens and Ron Owens sponsor this 4-year renewable scholarship in Elizabeth's memory.  It is given to a student who has attended Windham Middle School, has financial need and has demonstrated great effort and strides or has shown resiliency.