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Our Scholars

We are excited to introduce our 2017 William Wiersma Scholar, Ashtyn Smits. Joan and Lisa Wiersma attended the Cambria-Friesland High School Awards Ceremony on May 24, 2017, and announced Ashtyn as this year’s Scholar.



We are excited to introduce our second William Wiersma Scholar, Jacob Keip. Joan and Lisa Wiersma made the announcement at the Cambria-Friesland High School Award Ceremony on May 18, 2016.



We welcomed our first William Wiersma Scholar, Andrew DeYoung, on May 20, 2015! The application process includes a lengthy questionnaire, four essays, three letters of recommendation, and an interview, so we had extensive information on which to base our decision. Joan and Lisa Wiersma attended the Cambria-Friesland High School Award Ceremony on May 20, 2015, to present the Scholarship to Andrew, and a Special Recognition Award to Isabella Hasselberger.



Current & Past Scholars

New graduate degree, job, spouse, partner or child? Interesting service project or adventure? Please share it with us through the update form!

Ashtyn Smits headshot

Ashtyn Smits


Ashtyn Smits, of Cambria, Wisconsin, is our 2017 William Wiersma Scholar. She will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and will pursue her interest in mathematics by majoring in accounting. Ashtyn is valedictorian of her class, having accomplished a perfect “straight-A” record in high school. Ashtyn’s accomplishments extend beyond the classroom, as she played softball and basketball for four years, was Secretary of her class and of National Honor Society, was a member of Honors band, and participated in many other clubs and activities. Ashtyn credits her athletic experiences with teaching her the value of hard work and perseverance, and brought these attributes to her role as Captain. Most notable, however, is Ashtyn’s record of service to her school, church and community, where she always brings “kindness, compassion and a strong work ethic.” Although she is a respected leader for many of these activities, including the Red Cross Blood Drive, tutoring and teaching Sunday school, Ashtyn is known for her selfless commitment to assist behind the scenes with any project that needs her help. Perhaps the most revealing comments about Ashtyn come from those who have known her throughout her high school years, as they all note that “Ashtyn will be greatly missed by her peers, her school and her community,” when she leaves for Madison. We are excited to be a part of Ashtyn’s successful college career!

Update from Ashtyn:

(at the end of Fall 2017 semester): I completed my first semester at UW-Madison and am loving it! I enjoy being at a large University with so much to offer. I achieved being on the Dean’s List my first semester of college and am working towards that goal again this semester. My current major is Agricultural Business Management with a Certificate in Sustainability. During the fall semester I have joined the Saddles and Sirloins Club and the Agricultural Business Management club, along with volunteering at their many events. Two of the largest and most enjoyable events to volunteer at were the Targeting Excellence Shootout and Badger Kickoff Classic. I am very excited to keep working towards my goals and dreams by continuing my education at UW-Madison!

Jacob Keip headshot

Jacob Keip


Jacob Keip, of Cambria, Wisconsin, is our 2016 William Wiersma Scholar .Jacob is an outstanding student, and will graduate as Salutatorian of his class with a 4.16 GPA. Between his studies, athletics, and employment responsibilities, Jacob has also found time to reach out and help others. He initiated a new program where he and his fellow Varsity football teammates read to students at the elementary school once a week, and the program has been so successful that it will be continued in future years. Jacob will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison and majoring in Engineering Mechanic and Astronautics. He is humble and hard-working by everyone’s report, and we commend him for the initiative and diligence he has demonstrated in preparing himself for a career in aeronautics and space exploration. Jacob has always been fascinated by anything that flies. One of his favorite stories is to hear his father recount the awe that overtook the nation, and the world, when everyone watched Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moon. Jacob hopes to someday work for NASA and contribute to the manned exploration of Mars! We are honored to support Jacob as he continues to pursue these laudable goals at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Update from Jacob:

(at the end of the 2016-17 academic year): I finished with a 3.5. I’m still pursuing a degree in a Engineering Mechanics/Astronautics. Some of the coursework has been surprisingly difficult, but the most difficult classes are General Ed courses and not degree related courses. I guess it’s because the Gen Ed courses involve a lot of memorization of facts while the math and science involve applying ideas. I’ve also completed my first year of rowing and really enjoyed it. I’ll be spending the summer training in Madison in preparation for next season. I had a great first year and I can’t wait to be back at Madison for year 2.

Andrew DeYoung headshot

Andrew DeYoung



Andrew DeYoung, of Cambria, Wisconsin, is our first William Wiersma Scholar. He will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and majoring in mechanical engineering. Andrew has excelled in the classroom, earning a 4.18 GPA, and graduated third in his class at Cambria-Friesland High School. Thinking ahead, Andrew took the initiative to “double up” his mathematics courses as a freshman, allowing him to take Advanced Placement Calculus as a junior, and to earn college credit. Andrew earned twelve varsity letters during high school, playing football, basketball, and baseball for four years, and serving as captain for each of the teams as a senior. He has participated in, and been a leader for, many extra-curricular activities, including community and church-related service projects. This past winter, he noticed an elderly gentleman struggling with snow removal, and stopped and offered assistance. Following this first encounter, Andrew returned to shovel the gentleman’s driveway and sidewalk for the entire winter, and moreover, took time to talk with him and became a friend. Andrew is an exceptional young man, and his scholarship, initiative and integrity truly reflect the attributes of a William Wiersma Scholar. We congratulate him on all of his achievements, and will be following his progress as he continues at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Update from Andrew:

Having now completed my first semester of college, I am so grateful for the choice to attend school and select UW Wisconsin Platteville. Mechanical Engineering is still my future major at UWP, and I am currently enrolled in General Engineering as required until my Sophomore year. My first semester has been very enjoyable in class and also in extracurricular activities. During the fall, I joined multiple clubs; Inter-varsity, college church group; the Sportsman Club, outdoor activities (trap shooting); intramural sports, basketball, softball, and racquetball. Not only did I participate in intramural sports, I have had the opportunity to officiate intramural basketball as well.
My first semester in the classroom was filled with challenging classes. Freshman English, Calculus I, Chemistry for Engineers, Fitness Assessment, Engineering Success Skills and Basketball. I truly feel that college is a perfect fit for me and I look forwards to the next 3.5-years of schooling.

Special Recognition

Isabella Hasselberger headshot

Isabella Hasselberger


Isabella Hasselberger received a Special Recognition Award from the William Wiersma Foundation. The Special Award was given to recognize Isabella’s remarkable accomplishments as they reflect the scholarship, initiative and integrity that the William Wiersma Foundation embodies. Isabella graduated Salutatorian of her class at Cambria-Friesland High School, and will be attending the nursing program at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She has excelled in Spanish, and plans to minor in Spanish in college. Isabella has been an officer of her class, captain of the volleyball team, and a leader in other extracurricular activities. She recently earned her CNA certificate, and will be working as a nursing assistant this summer as she embarks upon her nursing career. We are proud to include Isabella as a recipient of a William Wiersma Foundation award, and look forward to following her progress at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.