RI Foundation Announces $500,000 in Scholarships
Monday, March 16, 2015
Scholarship funds were established by individuals and organizations through the Foundation to help students defray educational expenses such as tuition, fees and books.
“Every one of these scholarships makes dreams come true for our donors and our recipients,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “The impact of their generosity will ripple through Rhode Island for generations.”
Some funds target specific geographic areas such as Providence, some provide assistance based on gender, economic status or special circumstance.
The Margaret Hanley Van Orden Scholarship goes to graduates of Hope High School and the Lawrence, Allen, Singletary Scholarship targets Hope High School or Central High School graduates. Other scholarships available to Providence residents are the Sgt. Cornel Young, Jr. Scholarship, Urban League of RI Scholarship and the RDW Group Minority Scholarship for Communications for students of color studying communications.
The Melvin and Patty Alperin First Generation Scholarship is earmarked for high school seniors who are accepted or enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year college whose parents did not graduate from college.
The Rhode Island Commission on Women/Freda Goldman Education Award is for women pursuing education or job training beyond high school who need assistance with transportation, child care, educational materials or other support services.
The Bruce and Marjorie Sundlun Scholarship and Frances Macartney Porter Fund are open to low-income single parents. In addition, the Sundlun scholarship gives preference to men or women currently or previously receiving state aid or those who were previously incarcerated or will soon be released from prison.
The Foundation also offers a number of awards targeting students studying everything from social work or the arts to textile technology or filmmaking.
The Albert and Florence Newton, Edward and Virginia Routhier and Willard and Marjorie Scheibe scholarship funds target students studying nursing.
“Receiving a scholarship motivates me to not only complete my degree, but to further my education. I look forward to be able to give back to my community once I begin my career in nursing,” said Meghan Rainville, a University of Rhode Island junior who received a Routhier award for this academic year.
Related Slideshow: RI Experts on the Biggest Issues Facing Public Education
On Friday November 22, the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University, the Latino Policy Institute of Roger Williams University, the Rhode Island Association of School Committees, the Providence Student Union, and RI-CAN: Rhode Island Campaign for Achievement Now will host Rhode Island leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors for a symposium on "the civil rights issue of the 21st century, adequacy and equity and the State of Education in Rhode Island."
Weighing in on the the "three biggest factors" facing education in the state today are symposium participatnts Gary Sasse, Founding Director of the Hassenfeld Institute for Leadership; Christine Lopes Metcalfe, Executive Director of RI-CAN; Anna Cano-Morales, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, Central Falls Public Schools and Director, Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University; Tim Duffy, Executive Director, RI Association of School Committees; and Deborah Cylke, Superintendent of Pawtucket Public Schools.
"Provide a state constitutional guarantee that all children will have access to an education that will prepare them to meet high performance standards and be successful adults.
Bridge the gap between the educational achievement of majority and minority students. This will require the implementation of a comprehensive agenda for quality education in Rhode Island’s inner cities."
"Set high expectations and raise our standards across the state for anyone that contributes to the success of our students. From adopting the Common Core to discussing rigorous teacher evaluations, conversations around creating a culture of high expectations have to be at the center of the work."
"School facilities - with an aging infrastructure, underutilized buildings and the need to provide fair funding for school facilities for all public school students regardless of the public school they attend, this needs to be a top issue tackled by the RI General Assembly in 2014."
"Providing adequate funding is critical -- and there are going to be pressures on the state budget, which mean stresses to meet the education funding formula. With the predictions of the state's projected loss of revenue with the casinos in MA, education funding could be on the cutting board, and we need to ensure that it's not. Do we need to look at strengthening the language of the constitution to guarantee funding?"
"Issue one is quality. Your quality of education should not be dependent on your zip code. And the reality is, certain cities are distressed, or whose property values are not as high, I know each town has a different capacity to fund education. There's an absolute, clear relationship between the quality of public schools, and economic development of states. There's irrefutable evidence that quality public schools can make states more competitive."
"Issue two is equality. In West Warwick and Providence, the per pupil spending is around $16K. In Pawtucket it's $12.9. What's wrong with that picture? If I'm in charge of overseeing that my students are college ready, they need to be adequate funding. A difference of $3000 per pupil? We're talking in the tens of millions of dollars -- more like $25 million in this case. An exemplary school district is Montgomery County, MD -- they have roughly the same number of students, around 145,000 -- there's one funding figure per pupil. There's equitable funding for all kids."
"Issue three is Infrastructure. A critical issue is whether the state is going to lift its moratorium in 2014 for renovations for older schools, ore new construction. If that moratorium is not lifted, and those funds are not available, it is critical to us here in Pawtucket. The average of my schools is 66 years, I've got 3 that celebrate 100 years this year. These old schools have good bones, but they need to be maintained. These are assets -- and this is all interrelated with the funding formula."