*PROVIDENCE, R.I.* [Brown University] — Twenty high school seniors from
Providence public schools were honored with college scholarships from Brown
University’s Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence at an
event held at the home of Brown President Christina Paxson on Monday, June
12.

Paxson commended the students for their hard work and perseverance in high
school and acknowledged that some of them had contended with difficult life
experiences, noting that many come from families new to the United States
and are the first in their family to attend college. She encouraged them to
view those experiences as strengths.

“As you head to college, know that you bring unique talents and
perspectives to campus,” Paxson said in addressing the scholarship
recipients at the event. “Trust that your life experience will be valued
and welcomed. And when you get there, be your remarkable selves.”

Other speakers included Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Doris De Los
Santos, executive director of partnership and engagement for Providence
schools, who presented the awards. Chris Maher, superintendent of
Providence schools attended along with families, teachers and college
counselors of the honorees.

Elorza encouraged students to use their college experience to provide
opportunity to others.

“It’s been an entire community, an entire village, that has allowed you to
get to this point,” the mayor said. “And now that you’re going off to
college, you’ll soon be in positions where you can open doors for others.
Whether doors are being opened for you right here in Providence or in some
other community… make sure that the door is cracked just a little wider
open for those who come after you.”

For the last four years, the fund — established in response to
recommendations from the University’s Steering Committee on Slavery and
Justice , whose charge was
to acknowledge the damage done by slavery and to recommend ways that Brown
might create a more just future — has been used to support the scholarships
awarded to graduates of Providence’s public high schools. This year, the
fund received nearly 100 applications for scholarships, a record number.

The students each received a $2,500 scholarship toward their college
expenses. They represent seven Providence high schools and will attend a
broad range of four-year institutions of higher education in the coming
year, including Brandeis University, Holy Cross University, Boston College,
the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College.

For Central High School senior Roberto Cabrera, who will head to Rhode
Island College this fall to study nursing or business, the award was hard
won.

“I was surprised when I won,” he said. “I had to put a lot of effort into
applying. It was a real challenge, and I am glad that it paid off. This
scholarship really means a lot to me… and opens so many doors for me.”

A broad-based committee chooses the awardees. Recipients must maintain a
3.0 or higher grade point average throughout high school, have a strong
attendance record and demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to
students who would be the first in their families to attend college.
Applicants are asked to write short essays as part of the application.
Essay questions this year asked applicants to describe how they had
positively contributed to their community and to design an elective course,
describing what they would want students to learn.

*The 2016-17 Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence scholars
include:*

Yamely Alvarez Castillo attended Alvarez High School and will attend the
University of Rhode Island

Roberto Cabrera attended Central High School and will attend Rhode Island
College

Licelot Caraballo attended E-Cubed Academy and will attend College of the
Holy Cross

Ismailis Garcia Martinez attended Alvarez High School and will attend Rhode
Island College

Bethania Jimenez attended Alvarez High School and will attend College of
the Holy Cross

Jorge Ledee Bernard attended Mt. Pleasant High School and will attend the
University of Rhode Island

Ashley Lopez attended E-Cubed Academy and will attend the University of
Rhode Island

Saywath Luangsidasay attended Alvarez High School and will attend the
University of Rhode Island

Monica Melgarejo-Melendez attended Central High School and will attend the
University of Rhode Island

Ezequiel Parrilla attended Mt. Pleasant High School and will attend the
University of Rhode Island

Dania Polanco attended Alvarez High School and will attend Providence
College

Reniel Rodriguez Marte attended Central High School and will attend the
University of Rhode Island

Channel Rosario Perez attended Hope High School and will attend Rhode
Island College

Glorianny Sanchez De Jesus attended Alvarez High School and will attend
Rhode Island College

Xilian Sansoucy attended Classical High School and will attend Northeastern
University

Fady Santana attended Hope High School and will attend Rhode Island College

Ku Shar attended Juanita Sanchez Education Complex and will attend Rhode
Island College

Sixto Taveras Lopez attended Classical High School and will attend Boston
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Alicia Terrero attended Classical High School and will attend Providence
College

Leinni Valdez attended Hope High School and will attend Brandeis University