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Sterbenz-Ryan Scholarship accepting applications through March 30

The deadline for applicants to be considered for Sterbenz-Ryan Scholarships is March 30, 2019. Approximately 100 scholarships, each in the amount of $1,500 will be granted.

Sterbenz-Ryan Scholarships are open to the following:

• Graduating seniors (or non-traditional students) from the following counties: Burnett, Pierce, Polk, St. Croix (in Wisconsin) or Chisago and Washington (in Minnesota) who are seeking scholarship to attend any public Wisconsin or Minnesota post-secondary school (this includes technical schools, community colleges or universities).

• Non-traditional students seeking scholarship to attend Metropolitan State University (St. Paul), Century College (White Bear Lake, Minn.) or WITC (Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College).

• Graduating seniors from Hudson High School or Somerset High School seeking to attend a Wisconsin two-year community college, technical college or vocational school.

Sterbenz-Ryan Scholarship applications are available at

If, after reviewing the online application form, students still have questions they should contact Heidi Herron, St. Croix Valley Foundation Scholarship Associate, 715-386-9490 or


Richard Sterbenz (1943-2016) and Martin Ryan (1947-2010) were life partners and business partners for 35 years. They lived in Somerset, but each grew up in poor, tough circumstances in Chicago. Despite intelligence, they both struggled in school — Ryan barely graduated high school and Sterbenz never did. Both men possessed innate business acumen: being good with numbers, understanding risk and having an entrepreneurial nature. Their business ventures included Dalson Foods (a global meat-trading business), Richmar Industries (a realty company), MR Convenience Store, Rich's Eatery and several Somerset area real estate developments.

The couple was unassuming, modest and enjoyed life in the Somerset/Hudson area — running their businesses and seeking new opportunities.

Ongoing impact

Established in 2016, the scholarship program is the legacy of Sterbenz and Ryan. In short, scholarships are intended to give a leg up for people who may come from circumstances that mirror parts of Sterbenz' and Ryan's own experiences. The men ultimately hoped to "give kids like them a shot at life they never had." Sterbenz-Ryan Scholarships are intended to assist traditional and non-traditional students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to attend post-secondary school due to financial constraints or other "tough circumstances." A scholarship could also assist students who may have struggled in school and may be seeking opportunities like trade or technical college.

The $4 million endowed bequest means the Sterbenz-Ryan scholarship program can grant approximately 100 scholarships annually. This granting process will go on annually --forever.

St. Croix Valley Foundation was selected to manage and administer the scholarship program for the greatest regional impact. Since its founding in 1995, St. Croix Valley Foundation has managed 7,095 grants and scholarships totaling $23.3 million.