The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation announces the opening of a new fund, the V.C. and Blanche Helgren Martin Scholarship Fund, established by V.C and Blanche’s daughter, Pat Soderholm.

Soderholm, who lives in Madison, is a 1944 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School. This past summer, she attended her 75th class reunion in Fort Atkinson.

Establishing the Martin Scholarship Fund earlier this year was Soderholm’s way of paying it forward to future Fort Atkinson graduates. She particularly was interested in providing financial assistance and encouragement to local students pursuing studies in the fields of English, journalism and theater or other related language arts areas, as well as the field of architecture.

The Martin Scholarship is available to former graduates of Fort Atkinson High School who currently are enrolled as a full-time student in a four-year college or university with freshman, sophomore or junior standing at the time of application. The recipient must be pursuing a bachelor’s degree in the fields of English, journalism, theater or other related language arts areas, as well as the field of architecture.

They also must have maintained, at the time of application, a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale in post-secondary study.

Selection will be based on the applicant’s academic record, application, the content of an essay outlining the applicant’s plans, what he or she has done to prepare for the chosen education and career, initiative and likelihood of success. Financial need is not required for this scholarship, but need can be considered by the committee.

The amount to be awarded for the 2020-21 school year is $1,200 and payment of the scholarship will be made in one year. The scholarship is not renewable, but recipients may apply again in subsequent years.

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

The deadline for applying for the new V.C. and Blanche Helgren Martin Scholarship is April 1, 2020. Recipients will be notified in June 2020.

For more information about this new scholarship, or about any of the scholarships offered by the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, contact foundation executive director Sue Hartwick at (920) 563-3210, office; (920) 222-1191, mobile, or via email at

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