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Mark G. Adrain Memorial Scholarship Fund
By Jean Cohoon / February 23, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
“Mark was a great guy, very loving, and very much into family,” says Alyn Adrain of her late brother who died in 1990 from viral myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. He was 35.

Mark also was dyslexic, a learning difference that was not diagnosed until he was in high school. Although school was a frustrating experience, Alyn shares, “He had an innate ability to do anything mechanical, to take things apart, fix them, and put them back together.” Following his graduation from the vocational program at Warwick’s Tollgate High School, Mark pursued a career as a press repairman.

Alyn’s son, Alex, who was diagnosed with a language-based learning difference early in his elementary school years, had a different educational experience. He attended the Hamilton School at Wheeler School in Providence. Described as “a school within a school,” Hamilton serves children in first through eighth grades with diagnoses that include dyslexia, attention-deficit disorder, executive function deficits, and specific language impairments.

“It’s not that these kids can’t learn, it’s that we need to find ways to teach them. They do an amazing job at Hamilton, use cutting edge techniques, and students leave with the tools they need to succeed despite their challenges,” Alyn explains, noting that her son now is attending a top engineering university.

“Mark was a smart kid. He just needed to be taught differently. Every kid should have the opportunity to learn in a way that works for them. I know there are kids like Mark who can’t afford to go to Hamilton,” she continues, explaining that she has been providing money for scholarships for Hamilton students for several years.

When she decided to formalize her support, she asked her brother Lorne, a Foundation donor and former director, how to set up a fund at the Foundation. And, her upcoming marriage to Liza Bartlett, provided “the perfect opportunity” to ask guests to contribute to the fund.

“It was like Mark was there with us, and he would be happy to know that kids are being helped. Every kid should get the early diagnosis and intervention they need to succeed,” Alyn states.
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