The David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region recently awarded $2,362,100 in grants to local and state nonprofit organizations reflecting the charitable interests of the late couple and their family. The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay received $91,600 to add to the Rita E. Nelson Endowed Scholarship for Education Students Fund. The scholarship, at Rita’s alma mater, will provide two non-traditional students majoring in education with a $2,500 scholarship award annually.
“Nontraditional students come from all walks of life, and bring an expansive, critical repertoire of life experiences that enrich the classes and students they will one day teach,” says Pao Lor chairperson, Professional Program in Education, UW-Green Bay. “We are most grateful that many nontraditional students choose to pursue a career in teaching, and we are also most grateful there are individuals like David and Rita Nelson who shared the same vision and the generosity to provide the financial support to pursue it.” Last year’s recipient, Frances Nazario, said the news of her scholarship came at exactly the right time: “After this semester, I will no longer receive any kind of federal aid. So I’m pulling from wherever I can. And this came at a perfect time, because I just didn’t know if next semester was going to happen. And I was very scared because I have three semesters left.”
To UW-Green Bay and to the Nelson family, Frances says: “I don’t know if there are enough words for me to even express my gratitude. You’ve inspired me, and you’ve taken a big weight off my shoulders. A very humble thank you.”