The following was written by the RI Foundation.
Local high school seniors have until Feb. 12 to apply for college scholarships of up to $20,000 through the Carter Roger Williams Initiative at the Rhode Island Foundation. Conceived of and funded by philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter, the program honors the principles of the state’s founding father.
“Roger Williams personified principles that are as valuable today as they were in the earliest days of our state. Thanks to the vision of the Carter family, young people across Rhode Island will be exposed to his remarkable legacy,” said Jessica David, executive vice president of strategy and community investments.
Members of the Class of 2020 who display an appreciation for the values of Roger Williams are eligible for up to $80,000 over four years based on financial need and academic good standing. Applicants must be residents of Rhode Island, high school seniors and attend a public, parochial or independent high school in Rhode Island.
Candidates will be evaluated based on financial need, comprehension and application of Roger Williams’ principles and record of academic and community achievement. More details about the scholarships are posted on findingrogerwilliams.com.
Rogers High School graduate Ezra Monteiro, a first-year student at Howard University, is one of last year’s recipients. The six winners received scholarships that could total $320,000 over four years.
“In today’s day and age, many people have forgotten about Roger Williams’ principles and how they should apply to our everyday lives. When Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, he gave the colonists a chance to live a better life, regardless of their religion,” said Monteiro. “Although it may be hard, all of us need to stand up for what we believe in and stand against what we don’t. In order to build strong communities, we must work and pool unique ideas together.”
The Carter Roger Williams Initiative also includes a free online education hub at findingrogerwilliams.com that offers activities and discussion starters on Roger Williams and his teachings for elementary, middle and high school educators to use in their classrooms.
“The purpose is to enhance a sense of place and awareness by providing people across Rhode Island with access to resources that bring to life our state’s founder and his teachings,” said David.
Also available online is a comprehensive collection of verified information about Roger Williams and his life, legacy and character.
“This initiative is intended to encourage study and examination. Roger Williams was a complex man, he was forward-thinking and yet very much a man of his time. We are committed to presenting a complete and accurate representation of who he was and what he achieved – without bias,” said David.
While the Carter Roger Williams Scholarships are the single largest scholarships the Foundation awards, they are among nearly $2.5 million in scholarships the Foundation is offering for the 2020-21 academic year. For more information about applying for a scholarship, visit rifoundation.org.