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Fort Foundation announces new James Rossing Adversity Scholarship

The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of a new scholarship fund to its portfolio.


The James Rossing Adversity Scholarship Fund will be available to graduating Fort Atkinson High School seniors who are planning to attend an accredited technical school or a 4-year college or university.


Jim faced serious health challenges while growing up which had a direct impact on his school attendance, extracurricular achievements, and social interactions. As he reached high school, his interests transitioned into pursuing a career in health care based in part on his desire to give back to everyone that helped him over the years. Given his underlying physical challenges, he and his guidance counselor, Orrin Bull, determined that a 2-year technical college would be ideal and a more likely attainable goal for him.  After some research, he elected to enroll in the Respiratory Therapy Program at Madison College (formerly MATC).  A small scholarship along with financial assistance toward textbooks through the Department of Vocational Rehab would be of tremendous help along the way.  


James successfully graduated with honors. He went on to take the National Registration exam in 1982 and became a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT). He retired in 2017 after a long and successful 36-year career as an RRT at UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison. He credits his success to empathetic teachers, counselors, family, and friends who supported him in various ways. 


His wish is now to try and give back just a little to someone else and possibly make a difference in their life. This scholarship was established with that in mind and to assist students who are working hard to achieve their educational and career goals in the face of serious health or other adverse circumstances.


Applicants must have experienced a significant health challenge – or some other substantial adverse circumstance - during their high school career.


For the 2023-24 school year, there will be one award of $1,000.


Interested applicants should visit the Community Foundation’s website,, and follow the links to the scholarship pages. Here applicants will be guided to Fort Scholarships, the Foundation’s online scholarship application website, which will walk them through the application process.


The application deadline for this scholarship is April 1, 2024.


For more information about this new scholarship, or about any of the scholarships offered by the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, contact Executive Director Sue Hartwick at (920) 563-3210 or via email at


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