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Amaral Family Scholarship Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
Since the first member of George Amaral’s family set foot in America in 1880, the family has woven a rich history in East Providence. And now, thanks to efforts by George and his late sister, Sylvia, the family name will continue forever through the Amaral Family Scholarship Fund, designated for students at East Providence High School.

George’s immediate family, who hailed from the Azores, included his parents, Joaquim and Maria, and their 12 children.

“My mother always wanted us to go to school,” George recalls, but only three of the 12 children – the youngest three and the only ones born in the States – graduated from high school. “Most of my brothers and sisters went to grammar school, but then my dad would say, ‘You need to find a job.’ This was during the Depression, so many of them had to help put food on the table and pay the bills.”

Five of the brothers served in the Navy during World War II, taking part in many campaigns and earning numerous awards, including four Bronze Stars and a Silver Star. Years later, East Providence dedicated a bridge on Veterans Memorial Parkway in honor of their service. In addition, Sylvia received awards for selling War Bonds and Bond Stamps at Union Station – now the Rhode Island Foundation – and George recalls being shipped out through the Station.

“I remember our happiness, our tears, our good times, our hard times, and a lot of conversation while growing up on Summit Street in East Providence…This family is too precious to fall by the wayside without anyone knowing us,” says George, who turned 90 in October (2013) and is the only one of the 12 siblings still living. He is grateful to his lawyer, Deb DiNardo, for introducing him to the Foundation which, through this Fund, will assure that the Amaral name lives on.

Scholarship recipients especially will remember the family, with each student receiving information that the award is “in memory of parents, brothers and sisters of the Amaral Family: Joaquim and Maria Leite-Amaral, John J., Mary, Hortense, Anthony J., Manuel J., Joaquim Jr., Sylvester P., Eugene J., Horace J., Sylvia, David, and George.”
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