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RI college students can apply for fellowships for travel and adventure
By Chris Barnett / January 9, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...
College students with a yen for adventure have until Jan. 13 to apply for fellowships through the Michael P. Metcalf Memorial Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

The Foundation will award up to $7,000 to college freshmen, sophomores and juniors to pursue self-designed enrichment projects through travel. Established in 1989 to honor the late publisher of the Providence Journal, the fund has awarded fellowships to more than 100 students for travel to sites ranging from Appalachia to Zaire. Past recipients have performed at a classical music festival in Rome, done a medical internship in Tanzania and volunteered at a Costa Rican orphanage.

Ryan Curtis of Coventry received $7,000 to enable him to spend six weeks in Peru volunteering at an orphanage for children with severe disabilities and doing jungle conservation with the nonprofit International Volunteer HQ.

“I believe that international volunteer programs can bring people of different countries together to work side-by-side, while sharing perspectives and fostering cultural understanding,” he said.

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 out-of-state colleges and universities, but must be legal residents of Rhode Island. Grants are not intended for purchase of equipment or 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.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2015, the Foundation awarded $41.5 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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