Pursuing advanced education, particularly in the technical vocations, has been a lifelong passion for James (Jim) Popp.
Jim grew up on a dairy farm in Bonduel, and after graduating high school in 1957, he found work at a plywood factory. But he soon realized his dreams required additional education. He first pursued a chemist career at UW-Stevens Point, and in July 1960 he began life as a West Point cadet.
Throughout the 27-year military career that would follow, Jim would repeat the cycle of education, training and achievement toward his next role. His resumé would eventually include an impressive list of positions from parachutist, pilot, executive officer, army chief of staff, and battalion commander to his final assignment of inspector general.
Jim has been passionate about the need for soldiers and civilians to be technically trained in their duties, and believes that technical expertise is vitally important to self-satisfaction and performance. Jim has established scholarships through the Shawano Area Community Foundation to provide awards for Bonduel High School graduates planning to pursue an engineering or skilled trade career.
His generous contributions have also provided new and advanced machinery, including a plasma cutter and a commercial bender. These new machines will complement the existing training program giving students an edge as they continue their education and transition to the technically advanced job market.
Through the generosity of people, businesses and organizations passionate about helping students achieve their education dreams, we have more than $1 million in scholarships available each year to students from 60 schools, available for high school seniors, college and nontraditional students and K-12 art and music camps and lessons. See the Scholarship Recipient List for 2020 – 21, and learn more about creating a scholarship fund.