WIPPS Young Adult Civic Engagement Award applications are open

One $500, non-renewable scholarship will be awarded.
Application deadline March 19, 2021

One $500, non-renewable scholarship will be awarded to a young person who demonstrates leadership abilities including initiative, integrity and service to others. The review committee will also be looking for demonstration of a commitment to civic engagement through building relationships throughout the community and working toward positive change.

The scholarship is funded by former Wisconsin Congressman David R. Obey, who served central and northern Wisconsin as a representative from 1969 to 2011. Eligibility for the scholarship requires that the recipient be a resident of or be enrolled in an educational institution located within the district that Congressman Obey served. (See below for specific counties.)

To be considered, the applicant must:

  • Be a college, technical college or university student, aged 18 to 25, either residing in or attending an educational institution within one of the following Wisconsin counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, Washburn, Wood
  • Not earning high school credits during the 2020-2021 academic year.
  • Be enrolled in an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree program during the 2020-2021 academic year, earning at least six credits each semester of the year.
  • Submit an essay of no more than 500 words explaining why they deserve this scholarship.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from an adult (a non-family member).
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Transcripts should NOT be submitted with the application. The selected applicant will be asked to submit a school transcript which includes information on coursework during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Application deadline is March 19. Apply online by clicking here.
For any questions, email info@wipps.org.

*Employees, board members or fellows of WIPPS and their family members are not eligible for this award.

Previous Recipients

2020 Recipient

Congratulations to Tala Allan, the recipient of the 2020 Young Adult Civic Engagement Award!

Tala is originally from Palestine and grew up in the United Arab Emirates, where she completed high school. Her volunteer efforts have ranged from helping refugees with basic needs in the UAE, Jordan and Palestine, to coordinating international events at UW Stevens Point, to working on a crisis text line to help those dealing with mental health issues during COVID-19.

She is currently a senior at UWSP majoring in chemistry with a minor in neuroscience and behavior. She will be graduating from UWSP in May of 2021 and hopes to continue on to medical school.

2019 Recipient

Katelyn Ziarnik has been awarded the 2019 WIPPS Young Adult Civic Engagement Scholarship.

Katelyn attends the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, majoring in psychology with a minor in public health. She plans to graduate in May 2020 and will pursue a master’s degree in school counseling.

She serves as a Campus Connector for the Wisconsin Public Health Association, connecting the UW-Eau Claire campus with public health professionals around the state. She is also a member of the Community Connections Team of the Marshfield Clinic, which helps connect low-income patients with community resources that meet their needs.

“Volunteering and being civilly active shows you care about the health and well-being of your neighbors and the people who live in your community,” Katelyn said. “My goal in life is not to change the entire world, but to change the world for one person.”

2018 Recipient

Lincoln High School senior Selena Hansen was the first recipient of the WIPP’s Young Adult Civic Engagement Award.

Hansen volunteered hundreds of hours for her school and community throughout her high school years. Her efforts included working with a special needs Girl Scout Troop and designing an event to help the girls grow as strong and independent community members.

Hansen was active with the tobacco awareness group FACT and has made presentations to the Portage County Department of Health and Human Services.

She was involved with the National Honor Society, Lincoln High School jazz band, Incourage Community Foundation, McMillan Memorial Library, and the United Way’s Project Fresh Start and Stuff the Desk.