Endowed fellowships available for Rhode Islanders to pursue foreign language programs

Students, educators and other residents of Rhode Island who have a passion for languages have the opportunity to obtain a new fellowship from the Beatrice S. Demers Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

Applicants will be judged according to dedication to foreign language study, the likelihood the proposed program of study will promote a high level of fluency, and the diversity of languages studied. Preference will be given to applicants from the University of Rhode Island, where Demers taught for 30 years before her retirement.

Fellowships are expected to be in the range of $1,000 to $25,000, with numerous awards given annually.The fellowships will subsidize tuition, fees and living expenses.

Applications are due Jan. 31 and award decisions will be announced in March. The fellowship may be completed during the summer or in the following academic year.

Applications and more information can be found at www.rifoundation.org.

Demers passed away in 2007 and the endowment was established at The Rhode Island Foundation in accordance with her will.

“Through her fund at the Foundation, Miss Demers honors her life work as an educator and her own passion for the study of foreign languages,” said Owen Heleen, vice president of grant programs at The Rhode Island Foundation. “The Demers Fellows Program is a legacy that will enable Rhode Island students of foreign language study who share her passion to pursue their own programs to achieve fluency,”

The Rhode Island Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the nation. Last year, the Foundation and its donors made $27.5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.