The Persbacker Family Scholarship Fund at Connecticut Community Foundation has awarded college scholarships of $2,725 each to eight Bridgewater residents for the 2018-19 academic year.

The Persbacker fund is among the largest college scholarship funds available to students residing in Bridgewater, Connecticut. To receive a scholarship from the fund, a student must demonstrate an outstanding commitment to community service in the town of Bridgewater, and student’s primary residence must have been in Bridgewater for at least six years.  The awards are renewable for up to four years.

Hunter Wilson, whose community service includes volunteering on the Bridgewater Fire Department, is one of the newest Persbacker scholarship recipients. Following in the footsteps of both parents (and a brother!) who also volunteer at the department, Wilson is CPR trained and certified in first aid, and is as practiced at rescuing people from cars after an accident as he is cleaning Bridgewater’s fire trucks.

The Persbacker scholarship will help defray Wilson’s education expenses as he pursues a degree in agricultural equipment technology at University of Northwestern Ohio.  Wilson, who is challenged by dyslexia, said that he “has a hard time sitting in class.” So, he has naturally gravitated toward the “hands-on nature” of farming and operating and repairing heavy agricultural equipment on the 70 acres of land that he helps manage.

According to Wilson, studying in the Midwest will allow him to work on larger and more complicated farming machinery; his goal is to improve the design and efficiency of the equipment and work on a larger parcel of land.

Former Bridgewater resident Victor L. Persbacker established the scholarship fund at the Foundation with the intention of making college more affordable for students dedicated to community service.

The Persbacker Fund has awarded 65 scholarships totaling over $200,000 since its inception in 2004.  This year’s recipients of the scholarships are:

Rachel Crossley (University of Connecticut)

Kelsey Johnson (Purdue University)

Katherine Klein (Boston College)

Kristine Klein (Syracuse University)

Kathleen Sinatra (Union College)

Emma Virbickas (Western Connecticut State University)

Lars Vikstrom (Ithaca College)

Hunter Wilson (University of Northwestern Ohio)

Learn more about the scholarship program at Connecticut Community Foundation.