Bright Futures: Your Newsletter from the WROF, Inc.

Published: Tue, 10/27/15

Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation Email Newsletter Template

October 2015

You are receiving this newsletter from the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. because you are one of our past or current recipients, you signed up to receive this on our website, you asked to receive this, or you very generously made a financial contribution to support our organization. Thank you.

Consider WROF Committee Service for Sustaining a Vibrant Rural Wisconsin!
By Dorothy Farrell, WROF Board President

Autumn has filled Wisconsin with a crisp beauty.  Our WROF recipients are cracking the books once again.  Thank you for being part of our WROF legacy of fostering the vitality of rural Wisconsin!

At our upcoming November Board meeting we’ll be determining our scholarship allocations for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Each year we review the impact of our giving. Are our awards still significant as compared to increasing tuition? Should we give fewer larger awards or help more students with smaller amounts? What areas of study will have the biggest impact on ensuring a vibrant rural Wisconsin?  Do people know our support is available?

I find two factors striking in this process.  First, as everything gets more expensive, significantly more students need help. Second, most students will graduate with debt to pay off.  For our Veterinary School students, an average of $160,000 in loans to pay back will “graduate” with them.  For others, the dollars are smaller, but paying back educational debt is still part of beginning their first post-college job. 

Please consider investing in the WROF, Inc with your advice on the awards programs, your financial help and also perhaps, by serving on a WROF Board Committee.  We are currently looking for help with our marketing and development committees.  If you are a past WROF scholarship recipient, we especially welcome your experiences and ideas for continuing to make the WROF scholarship program something that is meaningful to our recipients and Wisconsin. 

You make a difference in the lives of our student recipients and rural Wisconsin! Thank you!

WROF Board Member Spotlight: Deb Boyke

(WROF board member Deb Boyke, center, with her family enjoying a Badgers game) 
Deb Boyke grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and earned her degree from the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.  It's easy to see how someone with agricultural roots so deep became involved with the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc.

When asked why her work with WROF is so important, Deb explained "Working my entire career in agriculture, I've watched the agriculture industry evolve. Today there are so many career opportunities within our sector. The WROF plays an important role by continually monitoring the needs, educationally, and then partnering with institutions to help students reach their educational goals with our financial support, with the idea that in the future they will give back to rural Wisconsin. It's tough not to be passionate about an organization with this mission. It's one of Wisconsin's best kept secrets. As a Board Member, I hope I can play a role in increasing the visibility of the great work of the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation."

Deb is presently the Communications Coordinator at the Center for Dairy Research (CRD), UW-Madison.  There she manages industry relations activities, plans technical events, and coordinates communication work projects and company trainings. In addition she oversees all the Center’s communication outreach efforts. She comes to the CDR with more than 30 years of industry experience in the dairy and agriculture industries building on her degree in Dairy Science with an emphasis in Agricultural Journalism. She also currently serves as the Executive Director for the U.S. National Committee of the International Dairy Federation. The mission of the WROF is closely aligned with her rural background and values. Her goal is to increase the visibility of the Foundation so that more might participate both in investing in the organization and also in receiving scholarship support.

Update on 2015 WROF Scholarship Recipient Allie Kastein

"I am currently in my senior year at Edgewood College, and in my fourth semester of nursing school. This semester, my focus is on Obstetrics and Pediatric nursing. Next semester, my final semester, will focus on public health. I am also involved with the Edgewood College Cross Country team currently, and will be running indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring. 

My goal is to start off working as a registered nurse either in Madison or Milwaukee. After gaining some nursing experience and finding my specialty, I would like to continue my education and become a nurse practitioner. I currently work as a nursing assistant at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, where I am getting excellent experience in the hospital setting and learning from all the nurses I work with. 

Receiving a WROF scholarship has helped me continue on with my goal of becoming a registered nurse. The education at Edgewood has been worth it because the small class sizes makes it easy to collaborate with other students and the professors. Having hospital clinicals in Madison has made a huge impact because of all the variety of patients that I am able to take care of.  The financial generosity of WROF brings me a step closer towards my goal of caring for others in the community. "

Thanks, Allie, for sharing your story with the WROF, Inc!

Harvest Time and Abundance
by Marcy Heim, Executive Director 608-772-6777

Fall is a time in rural Wisconsin filled with the Harvest moon and talk of ‘bringing in the harvest’.  Ever notice for some there is always an abundant harvest – even when the total yields might be down?  They might say, ‘Well, given the dry year, this is really a great crop.’ For others, there is simply never enough –sunshine, rain, time, money or crop yields.  Most things are always lacking.

As I meet our WROF scholarship recipients, I am impressed with their gratitude and sense of abundance. Honestly, some of these kids are really up against some tough situations. All of them manage tuition 10-fold higher than we ever paid and student jobs don’t pay 10-fold more. You can’t earn tuition over the summer anymore. I always ask them, “Given all you owe, does this $1000 even make a difference?” The heartfelt reply is, “Yes! The WROF Scholarship makes a BIG difference!”  

For one nursing student, the scholarship allowed her to buy the stethoscope required for her labs. For another, it meant that books were covered for the year.  For yet another, just seeing the electronic tuition reduction from the scholarship on her tuition statement shouted to her, “The Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation believes in me and that I can succeed."

You are this difference for our students.  The number of deserving students always overrides our scholarship supply. You can share your abundance with them.  You will be amazed at the joy giving can bring, not to say that somehow it seems to come back to you tenfold.  Please consider a gift of $500 or $1000 and fund a scholarship for the 2016-2017 year.  Pick the area of the state, the type of major, a specific educational institution or whatever brings you the most excitement.  Know that the WROF Board of Directors will guarantee your giving goals will be honored.  Know you are investing in our vibrant rural Wisconsin. Right here. Right now.

Calling All Past Recipients!

WROF, Inc. would love to hear how how receiving a scholarship or award from our organization has helped you to achieve your goals. Showing the impact that the WROF, Inc. awards have had on the lives of our recipients allows us to maximize the support we can provide in the future. Please consider taking a moment of your time to share your story with us on this form!

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Bright Futures is published periodically on behalf of the Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation, Inc. Please send comments to