PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University announced today that proceeds from the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence, an endowment established in response to recommendations from the University’s Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, will be used this year and in the future to support scholarships for Providence public high school graduates accepted to accredited two- or four-year institutions of higher education. The Corporation committee that oversees the fund approved the proposal, which was developed with Brown University President Christina Paxson, Superintendent of Providence Schools Susan Lusi, and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.
Twenty one-time scholarships of $2,500 will be awarded for the 2013-14 academic year, with at least one scholarship awarded per Providence public high school. A broad-based committee with representation from Brown, educators in the Providence public schools, the Providence School Department, and the mayor’s office will choose recipients for the awards. Scholarship awards will be based on academic merit and financial need, with a preference for students who would be the first in their families to attend college. Applicants will be asked to write a short essay as part of the application. The Providence School Department will solicit applications this week from graduating high school seniors, and scholarship recipients will be chosen later this month. Application forms are available online.
“The Fund was established in part to address disparities in educational opportunities that exist between economically disadvantaged students in Providence and students in more affluent areas,” President Paxson said. “By allocating funds to support college scholarships, we hope to encourage academic success and promote access to higher education for talented students with financial need. We also hope to encourage additional philanthropic support to strengthen the program.”
In 2007, as part of the University’s official response to the recommendations of the Committee on Slavery and Justice, the University established the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence and set as a goal to raise $10 million to endow the fund. Since the fund’s establishment, the University has raised $1,550,500 and has awarded nearly $300,000 to 11 elementary, middle, and high schools, the District, and a nonprofit organization working in an elementary school. The grants have ranged from approximately $1,000 to $118,000, and have supported areas ranging from library acquisitions and music instruction to reading intervention and violence prevention curriculum.
In addition to awarding the initial 20 college scholarships during this transition year, the Corporation committee overseeing the fund will solicit and review applications for grants to individual schools and will determine eligible grants for the 2013-14 academic year. Individual school applications are due by June 15, 2013. These will be the final school-based grants. In future years, all proceeds from the fund will be used to support scholarships.
“As a first-generation college graduate who went from the Providence Public Schools to Harvard, I understand the crucial role that financial scholarships play in enabling many young people in Providence to attend the college of their choice,” said Mayor Taveras. “Brown University’s Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence will provide meaningful and welcome financial assistance to high school graduates in our city who are eager to attend college and continue their academic careers. I am grateful to President Paxson and Brown University for this investment in our children. It is another example of Brown’s strong partnership with the City of Providence and commitment to our community.”
“This support for our college-bound students from Brown University is a very tangible and meaningful demonstration of the University’s ongoing support for public education in Providence,” said Superintendent Lusi. “We know that the Providence Public School Department alone cannot achieve the cradle-to-career success we all want for our children, and so we are extremely pleased that this financial support will help take twenty of our young adults beyond our walls and into higher education.”