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Regardless of the size or duration, RUHS Foundation scholarships serve their intended purpose of recognizing the hard-work of recipients. Our goal is to honor them for listening to, learning from and showing respect to the adults in their lives; for taking advantage of extra-curricular activities; and for being actively engaged in their unique RUHS experiences. These students have successfully upheld the long-standing tradition of Riverside as a place of purposeful learning and high academic achievement. The scholarships are a small token of congratulations and celebration.
Bette Cano Community and School Service Scholarship: This scholarship was established by the family of Bette Cano, a Milwaukee area community activist who fought hard for social justice, equality and opportunity for all. Three of Bette’s four daughters are graduates of Riverside University High School. Scholarship Requirements: Bette’s four daughters honor her memory with a scholarship to support the further education of a deserving Riverside graduate who has demonstrated commitment to community involvement and activism. $500.
Brin Family Scholarship: This scholarship was established by the Brin Family. Scholarship Requirements: Must plan on attending a Wisconsin school. $3000.
Drew/Washabaugh Family and Friends Scholarship: Cathy Washabaugh, a retired RUHS journalism teacher, revitalized the school newspaper in the early 1990’s. Mike Drew, a local retired journalist, volunteered his time and mentored the newspaper students. Upon her retirement, Cathy, along with her husband Bill, and Mike, along with his wife Alice (Hanson), established this scholarship in 2002 and continues to support Riverside graduates. Scholarship Requirements: Students with a 2.5 GPA planning to attend a Wisconsin college, university or 2-year college. Students should also have a plan for funding their education. Two individual scholarships at $2500.
Foundation General Scholarship: The Riverside University High School Foundation was founded in 1997 by several school alumni. They were concerned that a lack of money for public schools was beginning to reach a crisis stage and was slowly eroding the extraordinary high quality of education at Riverside, which had always been a hallmark of the school since its founding in 1868 as Milwaukee’s very first public high school. The Foundation’s primary source of funds is individual contributions from Riverside alumni, retired staff and friends. Scholarship Requirements: Student with a 2.5 GPA, financial need, participation in school activities and community service. Amounts vary.
Jim Gibson Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship was established by the Foundation Board in memory of Jim Gibson, who worked tirelessly for the Foundation to provide scholarships for Riverside graduates and to improve Riverside. Jim was passionate about Riverside’s history and wrote a book entitled, RUHS: Milwaukee’s Oldest Public School, which chronicles Riverside’s 150 years of education. Scholarship Requirements: Student with 2.5 GPA and held a leadership role in the school and/or the community. Financial need, participation in school activities and community service will be considered. $2000
Pat & Joan Kerns Scholarship: This scholarship was established this year by Pat and Joan Kerns in memory of their fathers, Milton Kerns and Allan Polacheck. Both Pat and Joan and their fathers are graduates of Riverside. This $1500 scholarship is awarded to a senior who lettered in basketball.
Scholar Athlete Scholarship: This scholarship was established by Mary Fowlkes, retired Physical Education teacher and Riverside alumnus. Scholarship Requirements: Must have participated in a RUHS athletic team, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and have done some community service. Five individual scholarships at $1000.
Thornburg Scholarship: Dr. Mary Lou Thornburg is a 1954 graduate of Riverside. She went on to receive a bachelor’s degree from UW-LaCrosse, a master’s from UNC-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, all in the field of physical education. For 35 years she was a professor at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts and served as Dean of the School of Education. The Thornburg Fitness Center at Bridgewater is named after her. Scholarship Requirements: Students with a 2.5 GPA who plan to pursue a career in education. $1000.
Towerview Incentive to Graduate Scholarship: Scholarship Requirements: Student must have immigrated to the United States, have English as a second language and be the first-generation family member to attend college. $1000 renewable with $1000 increases
Trades Scholarship: Scholarship Requirements: Must be planning a career in the trades and be applying to a technical school. Examples might include: electrician, plumber, welder, auto mechanic, HVAC technician, radiation therapist and many more. $1000
Tri-City National Bank - Scholarship Requirements: Must be planning a career in business. $2500.
Waldner-Cornell Family Scholarship: Sue and Don Cornell’s four children graduated from Riverside during the 90’s. Sue was a teacher at Riverside for 20 years. Public service work such as, firefighting, teaching and police work are highly valued by this family. Scholarship Requirements: Student must be planning a career in public service, have a 3.0 GPA and good attendance. Extra value placed on volunteer community service work during high school. $2000
Washabaugh Family Scholarship: This is a new scholarship this year established by the Washabaugh family. Scholarship Requirements: Must be African American and planning on attending UWM. $2500 for three semesters
Werner Family Scholarship: The Werner family has been a part of the Riverside community for many years. Gwen and Bill’s two sons attended Riverside. Gwen also serves on the Foundation’s board. The Werner Family members are long time supporters of public education and equal opportunity. The family makes donations every year so that this scholarship can benefit a deserving senior. Scholarship Requirements: 3.0 GPA with involvement in school activities and the community who demonstrates a financial need. $2500 renewable for four years
Tom Wild Legacy Scholarship: After his retirement in 2019, Mr. Wild established a scholarship. Mr. Wild taught Advanced Placement courses and advised the student council. He ran the ACT Testing Center at Riverside and chaperoned numerous college tours of historically black colleges. He did an excellent job of utilizing community organizations and nonprofit groups as resources for his students so they could see the importance of agency and active citizen participation. Mr. Wild’s Box City each year had students erecting cardboard shelters and spending the night outdoors in the school parking lot to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. Eventually they raised enough money to build two homes. He implemented voter education and registration drives which became the blueprint for all MPS high schools. When he retired, Mr. Wild was honored by the Milwaukee Common Council, four members of which had been his students. Scholarship Requirements: Student with a high academic achievement, student activity participation, community service and financial need. The student should be able to articulate the legacy they have passed on to RUHS. $2000.
Florence Yarney Memorial Scholarship: This scholarship honors RUHS’s “beautiful teacher,” Florence Yarney, who passed away on June 4, 2022. Ms. Yarney came to Riverside in 1979 and quickly became one of Riverside’s most beloved teachers. She taught English, primarily American Literature, and was an integral part of the Open Education Program. For over 20 years, she influenced countless students with her theatrical, energetic, positive, and engaging teaching style. Her students adored her and she believed in each one of them. She was referred to as “the beautiful teacher” because she truly was. $2000
Bezella Family Scholarship: Many members of the Bezella Family attended Riverside High School. The family business was the Kellner Greenhouse on Humboldt Avenue, well known in Riverwest and on the east side. After graduating from Riverside, many went on to study and/or pursue careers in the sciences, including botany, zoology, nursing, and chemical and nuclear engineering. Scholarship Recipient: Emelyne Nshimirimana - fourth year of $5000
Brin Family Scholarship: This scholarship was established this year by the Brin Family. Scholarship Requirements: Must plan on attending a Wisconsin school. Scholarship Recipient: Orion King - second year of $2500
Towerview Investment Incentive to Graduate Scholarship: Raman Ghei, president of Towerview Investment Company established this continuing scholarship for an ESL student who is an immigrant and first generation college student. The $1000 scholarship award will increase each year to total $10,000. Scholarship Recipient: Muhammed Ahmed - third year of $3000