Our Blog RSS

The latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state. 

Rhode Island Foundation Blog


We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.

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.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Making science come alive Posted last month
    Thanks to our Carter Spark Grant, Narragansett Elementary School students just learned a lot about life around Narragansett Bay. Special education teacher Karen Festa used the grant to bring Save the Bay’s living “Bay Classroom Experience” to school.
  • Roger Williams' ideals come to life in scholarship recipients Posted last month
    The Rhode Island Foundation is sending seven high school seniors off to college with scholarships honoring Roger Williams, the state’s founding father.The four-year, renewable scholarships are through the Carter Roger Williams Initiative, which was launched last year by philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Carter fellowships inspire innovation Posted 2 months ago
    The recipients will receive $200,000 over four years to test and implement their proposals to dramatically improve life in Rhode Island thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Letitia and the late John Carter.
  • Grants will improve health of RI'ers Posted 3 months ago
    Our RIGHA Foundation Fund awards more than $280,000 in grants to promote primary health care.
  • Introducing moves to fuel growth and expansion Posted 4 months ago
    We are launching a new grantmaking opportunity, refining our strategic priorities, adopting impact targets and adding new staff positions to support work with partners, donors, nonprofits and community leaders.
Read More »


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

E-News Sign Up