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12/15/2011 4:22 PM EST

New Red Sox scholarship program for Rhode Island public school students announced

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee Joins Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry and Linda Pizzuti Henry at Rhode Island State Capitol to Make the Announcement

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee teamed up with Boston Red Sox Principal Owner John W. Henry and his wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, to announce a new Rhode Island Red Sox Scholarship program for public high school students. As part of this prestigious new program, the Red Sox Foundation will award scholarships to ten academically talented Rhode Island public high school seniors who have shown a commitment to community service.

“We are continually gratified by the loyalty and support of our fans in Rhode Island, and we are pleased to honor Rhode Island students who not only work hard in the classroom, but also in their community to open doors of opportunity for others,” said Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry. “This scholarship program is just one way our team and team charity hopes to  give back to the Rhode Island members of  Red Sox Nation, and recognize the educational and community achievements of their most talented students.”

“Rhode Islanders are proud members of Red Sox Nation, so we are pleased to be offering Red Sox logo charity license plates for fans across the state,” said Governor Chafee. “I also want to thank the Red Sox Foundation for investing in the talented young people of our state, particularly because the new Rhode Island Red Sox Scholarship Program will reward those students who make a commitment to community service. I encourage graduating seniors to apply and I look forward to the award recipients being honored on Rhode Island Day at Fenway Park.”

The Red Sox Scholarships will be awarded this spring to one Rhode Island graduating high school senior at each of the following 10 public schools:

  • East Providence High School, East Providence
  • Woonsocket High School, Woonsocket
  • Cranston - West High School, Cranston
  • North Kingstown Senior High School, North Kingstown
  • Mount Pleasant High School, Providence
  • Chariho Regional High School, Chariho
  • South Kingstown High School, South Kingstown
  • Westerly High School, Westerly
  • Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth
  • Smithfield Senior High School, Smithfield

The original idea for a state-wide Red Sox Scholarship Program came from the Red Sox Foundation Board and was launched in New Hampshire in 2010. The Foundation is also in its 10th year with its Red Sox Scholars program in Boston, which provides scholarships and mentoring for academically talented and financially challenged middle school Boston Public School students.

“Extending the Red Sox Scholarship Program to Rhode Island students was a natural evolution of the Red Sox Foundation’s efforts to support educational achievement and charitable accomplishments of students throughout New England,” said Red Sox Foundation Board Member Linda Pizzuti Henry. “The program aims to recognize educational achievement and community among talented students, and rewards those efforts with these scholarships.”

To qualify for this prestigious award, students must be high school seniors at one of the 10 select Rhode Island schools and pursuing a four-year or two-year degree at any college, university or trade school entering their first year of college or post-secondary education in fall 2012.  Award recipients will be chosen by the Red Sox Foundation from eligible applications submitted based on their academic performance, answers to two essay questions, a demonstration of community service, and eligibility for financial aid in higher education. Applications and guidelines for the Red Sox Scholarship program are available to download at the team charity website at www.redsoxfoundation.org. All application materials for the Red Sox Scholarships program should be inserted in one package and need to be postmarked by Friday, March 9, and sent to:

Rhode Island Red Sox Scholarship Program
Red Sox Foundation
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215

The scholarship program is primarily funded by the Red Sox Foundation, the award winning official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, and, in smaller part, by proceeds from the Red Sox logo charity license plate program in Rhode Island, launched during the 2011 season. As allowed by state law, a portion of the proceeds from each Rhode Island Red Sox logoed specialty license plate goes to the Red Sox Foundation, which in turn will use the fund s to support this new Rhode Island Red Sox Scholarship Program. Information about the Red Sox license plate program can also be found on the Red Sox Foundation’s home page at www.redsoxfoundation.org.  Under state guidelines, a minimum of 900 orders must be received before the state RMV will issue the new Red Sox logoed charity plate, and the team hopes to reach that goal on or before January 2012.

All Rhode Island Red Sox Scholarship recipients will be recognized during formal graduation ceremonies at their respective high schools. The awards will also be presented to the ten students on Rhode Island Day at Fenway Park which will be held on Sunday, June 24.

 “We look forward to reading the applications from the many talented students in Rhode Island, and the Foundation looks forward to celebrating with the winners of this prestigious award at their high school graduation and Rhode Island Day at Fenway Park this coming spring,” said Red Sox Foundation Executive Director and team SVP of Corporate Affairs Meg Vaillancourt. “We also plan to expand the program as funds permit in the years ahead.”

Rhode Island day at Fenway Park is a celebration of Red Sox fans from Rhode Island who are honored and recognized at the ballpark as an integral part of Red Sox Nation.  Elements of the pre-game ceremonies, including the National Anthem and Ceremonial First Pitch, will include honorees from Rhode Island. Residents of Rhode Island are also provided opportunities to purchase tickets. Information on the Rhode Island Day ticket sale process will be released at a later date.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.