A senior at Cranston East, Sabine Mia JeanLouise, has won a $10,000 scholarship from a local educational nonprofit to study biology at Rhode Island College and ultimately to pursue a career in …
A senior at Cranston East, Sabine Mia JeanLouise, has won a $10,000 scholarship from a local educational nonprofit to study biology at Rhode Island College and ultimately to pursue a career in dentistry.
The scholarship was awarded by Sprout & STEM, a four-year-old organization that provides free tutoring, mentorship programs, and academic scholarships to students at urban public high schools in Providence. This award, named the Kathy L. Radimer Memorial Scholarship, specifically honors a student who attends an urban high school and has overcome significant academic obstacles in their pursuit of higher education. JeanLouise, whose parents immigrated from Haiti to provide their children with better educational opportunities, is its first recipient.
“This is a significant milestone in the organization’s history, being able to award a scholarship of this size,” Hunt says. “And by telling this story we hope that maybe other families, other philanthropists, are motivated to work with us and support local education.”
Sprout & STEM was founded in 2019 by two Brown medical students, Victor M. Hunt and Weston de Lomba. Hunt, a Woonsocket native, felt compelled to make a difference in local education in response to a 2019 report by Johns Hopkins University on the Providence Public Schools System that found “the great majority of students are not learning on, or even near, grade level.”
“We wanted to improve the quality of education for students who were looking beyond high school,” Hunt says. “We started to offer after school tutoring, and that has since evolved into mentorship, scholarships, seminars, and where we are today four years later.”
This scholarship, ten times larger than any previously offered by the organization, was made possible by the philanthropist Rich Radimer, who dedicated it to his sister Kathy L. Radimer. Kathy L. Radimer earned her PhD in Nutrition at Cornell in the 1980s, and founded the Radimer-Cornell hunger scale which is still used internationally as the standard metric for quantifying malnutrition. She died in 2019 as a result of early-onset Alzheimer’s.
At the ceremony on August 12, on the campus of Rhode Island College, Hunt and the Radimers talked about the organization’s mission, the life and work of Kathy L. Radimer, and the accomplishments of JeanLouise. After the speeches, Hunt presented JeanLouise with an enlarged check, and they posed for photos in front of the Rhode Island College Insignia.
The scholarship, which requires a transcript, letter of recommendation, and short essay responses, will be awarded to a student in the Providence metropolitan area every year in perpetuity.