Since 1993, Narrow River Preservation Association (NRPA) has awarded scholarships to seniors graduating from high schools in the Narrow River Watershed as part of its Youth Environmental Education Program. This year is no exception. Although we have to accept virtual awards ceremonies, we are still very pleased to announce our 2020 NRPA Lesa Meng Scholarship winners: Edward Blessing, Reneé Fontaine and Clark Swanson.
Edward Blessing, a graduate of Narragansett High School, will be attending the University of Rhode Island in the fall. He is considering majoring in Civil Engineering. Eddie was a member of the National Honor Society and a varsity athlete. He was on the football, basketball and baseball teams all four years. Eddie was the captain of the baseball team (All Division) and starting quarterback on the football team (All State). Balancing both school and work, Eddie worked as a counselor at Camp Narragansett and as an attendant at Adventureland Family Fun Park. Eddie has been a volunteer couch for Narragansett Little League and has spent many hours volunteering at community events for the Lions Club and Special Olympics.
Reneé Fontaine, a recent graduate of North Kingstown High School, plans to attend Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. She would like to purse a bachelor’s in health science with the eventual goal of becoming a physicians assistant (PA) perhaps working in pediatric emergency medicine. Reneé already volunteers her time and skill with the Charlestown Ambulance and Rescue Service. In her junior year, Reneé was the NRPA science fair winner at the North Kingstown High School Science Fair. She studied the affects of rising acidification due to climate change on brine shrimp hatching rates. She showed that hatching rates due decrease due to the increased acidity levels. She was a four year member of the NK cross country team and enjoys step dancing.
Clark Swanson, a graduate of South Kingstown High School, will be attending the University of Rhode Island, where he is enrolled in the College of Environment and Life Sciences. He hopes to someday to work in an environmental-related field to help combat the effects of climate change. Clark was a member of the Gardening Club, and an advocated for recycling with the Sustainability Club. In September, he became an Eagle Scout of Troop 138 West Kingston. As a boy scout he was awarded the World Conservation Award. He balanced school and work. Clark worked at his family’s Cider Mill in Jamestown. He also helped plant 300 apple tree saplings for his cousin’s new organic cider orchard. Clark enjoys hiking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, and just spending time outside.
Each student received a $1,000 scholarship from Narrow River Preservation Association.
More information about the awards and about Lesa Meng can be found at http://narrowriver.org/scholarships/.