74th scholarship awarded in Poland

Natalia Roska and Karolina Idzikowska received our 2018 International Scholarship of Honor in Nidzica, Poland. Brian's Foundation has been awarding scholarships in Poland for 16 years.

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Natalia (left) is studying Linguistics in business at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.

Karolina (right) is studying Economics and Management and production engineering at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn.

These scholarships are made possible by Darlene Nueske and Mike and Sue Smullen. The recipinets are pictured during the scholarship presentation with the Vice Governor of The Nidzica County, Leszek Brzozowski and the President of the Nidzica Community Foundation, Barbara Margol.

Kate Russell, the 2018 Danny Dietz Scholarship of Honor recipient sent us a note on her first week of college... 

"I wanted to give you a quick update on how life at University of Portland is going. I finished my first week at school and I am loving it! My intro to engineering class is super interesting and we are going to soon start on our projects for the semester, which are building our own small wind turbines.

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Other than that I am enjoying the beautiful weather in Portland and meeting a bunch of new people! Here are some pictures from my orientation weekend! 

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Glad to hear all is well Kate!  Thank you for the update.

26 years ago...


26 years ago today we woke up to the reality Brian was gone.  The news of his drowning was just starting to filter out into the community.  The search and rescue teams were out on the Bay of Green Bay and they would continue the search for 5 grueling days. Brian would eventually be found by a volunteer boater, who happened to be his 6th grade teacher.  Our family was so blessed by the family, friends and the community who surrounded us during this time of shock and sadness.

Thanks to the many donors at Brian’s memorial service, the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation was created in 1992.  That next Spring the first annual Brian LaViolette Scholarship was awarded at DePere High School.  At that time, we would have never dreamed that so many great things would happen with the Foundation.  On the day of Brian’s funeral, we promised that in his name and memory we would accomplish great things.  And thanks to you, we have been able to keep that promise.  838 Scholarships have been awarded to date for a total of $727,720.

One scholarship a year has turned into over 55 annually.  We have heard from people and students all around the world how they have been inspired by Brian and the Foundation.  And just as importantly, we have been inspired by all of you. On a daily basis we are reminded of hope, love and commitment.  Thank you.

Paying tribute to a great man... Ron Anderson

 Ron and Fran Anderson 

Ron and Fran Anderson 

Ron Anderson played many roles in our life… not only was he Brian's Uncle, he was a key part of the Foundation.  Ron helped us with our website, when websites were new, he was always on hand to help with a special event and served on the Foundation’s Advisory Board.   

Sadly, Ron passed away last week at the age of 74.  Ron was a kind and witty man.  He was a loving husband to Fran, who now plays a pivotal part in the Foundation.  Ron enjoyed a 45-year career in multimedia including radio, television, and information technology. He was skilled in writing, public speaking, teaching, videography, photography, and editing. 

He was a great encourager of life, travel, the outdoors and the Journey.  He will be missed by many.

You can learn more about Ron here: http://www.rembsfh.com/obituaries/Ronald-R-Anderson?obId=3168321#/obituaryInfo


Where are they now?

Update from 2015 Brian LaViolette Scholarship Recipient, Donglin Zhang

I am so incredibly thankful for the Brian LaViolette scholarship and for all of the opportunities to which I have been exposed. Reflecting on my undergraduate life since receiving the scholarship, I am grateful to report three years of rich experiences at Williams College and beyond. 

 Donglin with her family in 2015 after we surprised her at Ashwaubenon High School with the news that she received the $10,000 Brian LaViolette Scholarship 

Donglin with her family in 2015 after we surprised her at Ashwaubenon High School with the news that she received the $10,000 Brian LaViolette Scholarship 

The first year was filled with building new friendships and learning to navigate my independence as a college student. I joined a dance group on campus that explores West African inspired dance and movement to expand my love for dance. After my first year, I earned an internship with a healthcare non-profit / thinktank in Boston. This internship helped me become aware of broader issues of the US healthcare system and opened my mind to thinking critically about the career I hope to pursue. 

My second year was blissfully spent living with close friends I made during my first year. I decided to major in math and stay on the pre-med track. I joined a different dance group called Ritmo Latino to learn Latin dance forms such as Salsa and Bachata. In the summer following, I interned at San Francisco Free Clinic to provide care to uninsured patients in San Francisco. However, because of the fairly intense academic demands of Williams, I was feeling a little burnt out at the end of Sophomore year, prompting my decision to study abroad my Junior fall. 

 Donglin with her siblings, 2018

Donglin with her siblings, 2018

This past academic year, I spent fall semester in London and spring back at Williams College. London is a fabulous city that captured my heart. I loved having access to original works of art all around me with the myriad of museums (most of which were free to all visitors). The international nature of London and King's College, where I took classes, exposed me to peers and perspectives from around the world. Here I continued to explore my love for dance by joining the dance society and participating in various Latin dance socials. 

Once I returned to Williams, I had renewed energy to focus on academics and my goals to pursue medicine. I completed spring semester with my first 4.0 semester at college, and earned a 98th percentile score on my MCAT (medical college admissions test). This summer, I am in New York city working as a clinical research associate and working on my med school applications.

All this to say, I am so grateful for the experiences I have had. Honestly, I wake up every morning excited for my day and the new possibilities for my future. My family and I am so thankful that the Brian LaViolette scholarship has helped to support my pursuits, and for your family's confidence in me.