Grants & Scholarships

Our 2019 Community Leadership Awardee

At our 2019 Annual Meeting, we celebrated our state and honored some of those who are working hard to improve it. "Meet" our 2019 Community Leadership Awardee, College Crusade of Rhode Island.

Making college possible

Nothing opens doors and creates possibilities for young people like education. But for many students in our state, college seems like an unrealistic dream. For thousands of such students, The College Crusade of Rhode Island has made college a reality.

Andrew Bramson, president & CEO, states, “The mission of The College Crusade is to help young people be the first in their families to attend and complete college. Those words are easy to say, but the obstacles associated with helping young people achieve these is really complex.”

One key is to start early. Students enroll in The College Crusade in the sixth or seventh grade. The program then provides the steady presence of caring adults, academic enrichment, social and personal development, and career exploration from middle school right through their college years.

"I try to be their biggest ally from day one and make sure to help them navigate the college process. It can be very difficult for our kids. A lot of them are first generation students who don’t have someone in their family or in their network to go to who understands how to navigate some of these things.

- Joshua Flanagan, college advisor, The College Crusade

Speaking for her fellow Crusaders, Stacy Paulino, a 2019 graduate of Providence’s Classical High School, shares, “It’s great for us to be part of this program (which helps us) go above and beyond what we’re expected to do. We are able to go out into society and be well-prepared for anything that is coming our way because of this great program.”

The Foundation has supported the establishment and growth of The College Crusade over the past 30 years. Today, The College Crusade runs more than 60 different programs in 38 schools, serving approximately 4,200 students each year. That is 4,200 individuals and families whose lives are transformed by higher education.

“I met a father who came up to me and said, ‘I’m a single dad and I’ve got a really smart kid on my hands. She needs to go to college, and I need you to help me make that happen.”

- Andrew Bramson, president & CEO, The College Crusade

He continues, “I remember that conversation so vividly and it reminds me every day of the fact that all of our parents have great dreams for their children, and we are lucky enough to be partners in helping those dreams become a reality.”