a photo of the winners with Vice President Shirley Ripa

Forum Lodge #391—Sons and Daughters of Italy in America recently awarded Anna M. Ripa Memorial Scholarships to two Aquidneck Island public high school 2021 graduates.  

Liza Nunes of Rogers High School will major in psychology and social work at the University of San Diego.   Alec Darmino of Portsmouth High School will study at Hofstra University with a major in communications. 

a photo of the winners with Vice President Shirley Ripa

In addition to maintaining a B average or better in their studies and intending to enter university in the fall of 2021, the applicants wrote essays explaining the importance of their Italian ancestry to their lives.

Forum Lodge, which was established in 1915, is the Aquidneck Island chapter of Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America (OSDIA), the oldest and the largest national organization for men and women of Italian heritage in the United States, founded in 1905.  Anyone interested in learning more about Forum Lodge #391-OSDIA may contact Sandra Flowers, corresponding secretary, at sjflowersphd@yahoo.com.  

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.