Media release

Students will head off to college with nearly $4 million in scholarships

Hundreds of students and their families gathered at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet to celebrate their achievements

Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO David N. Cicilline announced that students from across the state will head off to college with the help of nearly $4 million in scholarships.

“These scholarships reward all that these students achieved and honor the donors who make their dreams of a better future come true,” said Cicilline. “The impact of their philanthropy will be felt for years to come as these young people join the workforce and contribute to the civic life of their communities.”

Dozens of individual and organizational donors have established scholarship funds at the Foundation to help students defray educational expenses such as tuition, fees, and books. The Carter Roger Williams Scholarships are among the largest, worth up to $80,000 over four years.

“I am told that I am a true helper, and I would love to make a difference in the world. It is so important to be able to help people have a voice and language so that they can clearly communicate their needs, wants, desires and beliefs,” said Brettyn-Olivia Newsome, a 2023 graduate of Rogers High School in Newport, who plans to attend Abilene Christian University and study Communication and Sciences Disorders.

In addition to general scholarship assistance, funds related to Cataract Fire Company #2, Johnston Lions Armand Muto and the RDW Group offered targeted assistance. For example, Rhode Island PBS targets students pursuing journalism or communications as a career.

“Many students like me cannot help but worry about the financial costs of college. I felt a huge relief when I realized I was going to be able to now afford to attend college, live on campus, play tennis for Rhode Island College, contribute to my school community and pursue a career in broadcasting or public relations,” said Isabella Ba, a 2023 graduate of Cranston High School East, who plans to major in communications at Rhode Island College.

Other funds include the Black Philanthropy Bannister Scholarship, the Major Jeremiah P. Murphy Scholarship, the Edward J. and Virginia M. Routhier Nursing Scholarship and the Robert G. and Joyce Andrew Scholarship, which awarded more than $350,000 to more than 125 students.

The Foundation expects to begin taking applications for the 2024-25 academic year after January 1.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $75 million and awarded $84 million in grants last year. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.