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298 students receive $1 million+ in scholarships

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The total scholarships awarded by the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region surpassed $1 million this year for the first time in the nonprofit organization’s 30-year history, helping 298 students pursue further education.

The assistance came from 142 scholarship funds established by individuals, businesses and other organizations with the Community Foundation. Most support high school graduates going on to college, but the $1.1 million awarded includes scholarships for students already in college, two-year colleges and technical schools and even summer art and music camps for younger students.

There are 142 charitable funds within the Community Foundation that support scholarships at 58 area high schools. The college and other scholarships are all listed at A student can select his or her high school to see a list of all of the scholarships available to that school’s graduates and the deadline to submit an application.

“Our donors have demonstrated how highly they value helping the next generation to succeed in higher education and in their chosen professions by establishing charitable funds that will support these scholarships forever,” Curt Detjen, president and CEO, said. “We encourage students and parents to be aware of the wide range of opportunities offered by our scholarship funds and apply for them.”

HannahSmileThe assistance helps students like Hannah Fitton, a 2010 graduate of Appleton North High School who went on to Colgate University in upstate New York. She was diagnosed at age 13 with Usher Syndrome, which took her hearing and impaired her vision. That didn’t deter her from playing cello in the college orchestra and competing in NCAA Division I as a swimmer.

Ms. Fitton, who was awarded a Margaret Ferris Scholarship for Hard of Hearing Students as a North senior, is the first recipient of a scholarship from the Community Foundation to establish her own scholarship fund at the Foundation – the Hannah Fitton Living Your Dreams Scholarship.

Once the fund reaches a balance of $15,000, scholarships will be awarded each year to a student from an Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Kimberly or Kaukauna high school who has a physical disability.

“I have never viewed my hearing impairments as limitations on life,” she said. “My disability gives me potential to share with the world a story that is unique, honest and full of adventures. I strongly believe that dreams are meant to be experienced and stories are meant to be shared.”

The Community Foundation offers a wide range of scholarships every year. Selections are based on anything from merit, need, the choice of a college, an area of study, the high school the applicant attends and other factors. Regional affiliates of the Community Foundation located in Brillion, Chilton, Clintonville, Shawano and Waupaca also offer scholarships for graduates in those areas.

Read Norman Van Hulle’s scholarship fund story of giving 

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