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Feb. 12 is deadline to apply for Metcalf Fellowships
By Chris Barnett / January 8, 2016 /   Loading Disqus...

College students with a yen for travel and adventure have until Feb. 12 to apply for fellowships through the Michael P. Metcalf Memorial Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

College freshmen, sophomores and juniors from Rhode Island can request up to $5,000 for travel and self-enrichment projects. Established in 1989 to honor the late publisher of the Providence Journal, the Fund has enabled more than 100 students to visit sites from Appalachia to Zaire. Past recipients have performed at a classical music festival in Rome, volunteered at a Costa Rican orphanage and studied improvisational theater in Texas.

The Fund’s goal is to broaden student perspectives and enhance personal growth. Permitted uses include travel in this country and abroad as well as participation in internship and public service programs. Grants cannot be used for standard semester-abroad programs or for post-graduate travel.

Applicants can attend college out-of-state, but must have been legal residents of Rhode Island for at least five years. Grants are not intended to be used to buy equipment or to cover the cost of other capital expenses. Applications must include a thorough description of the proposed activities, demonstrate clear purpose and show financial need.

Criteria for evaluating applications include clarity and thoughtfulness, creativity, motivation, evidence of self-direction and initiative and financial need. At the conclusion of their project, recipients must submit a final report describing the value of their experience in furthering their long-term goals.

The Christine T. Grinavic Adventurer's Fund supplements the Metcalf awards. The fund honors the memory of Grinavic, a University of Rhode Island graduate and 2001 Metcalf Fellowship winner who was lost at sea in 2007.

Metcalf was chairman and publisher of the Providence Journal before he died in a 1987 bicycling accident. When Metcalf's widow Charlotte helped establish the Fund, she explained, “I wanted to create an opportunity that was a departure from the usual scholarship. I thought of making wonderful experiences – transforming experiences – happen for others.”

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.
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