March 18, 2019

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State to Award 4 Scholarships to Program Graduates


Since its inception, BBBSOS has awarded over $50,000 in scholarship funds to mentees in our program.

July 12, 2018, Cranston, R.I.: Annually, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State (BBBSOS) awards $1,500 scholarships to program participants (Little Brothers and Little Sisters) who are graduating high school and pursuing higher education.

The Dr. Dorothy Pieniadz Scholarship Fund was created in 2000 by our founding mother,
Dr. Dorothy Pieniadz, who served as the first female Dean of Students at Rhode Island College and is a firm believer that education is the key to success. Since its inception, we have awarded over $50,000 in scholarship funds to mentees in our program.

This year’s key note speaker will be the 75th Governor of Rhode Island, Gina M. Raimondo.

Governor Raimondo has made advancements in education a centerpiece of her economic growth plans. She made new investments in early education, tripling the number of public pre-kindergarten classes and working to ensure that every child can attend all-day kindergarten.

The Luncheon will also feature remarks from Sandra Cano, Senator of District 8 in Pawtucket, RI. First elected to the Pawtucket City Council in 2014, Cano previously served on the Pawtucket School Committee and is currently an assistant vice president at Navigant Credit Union.

Katje Afonseca, BBBSOS Executive Director had this to say: “It is the most amazing thing to see people celebrate youth pursuing higher education”. She continued, “Dr. Dorothy Pieniadz has always put an emphasis on the importance of education.”

This Year’s award recipients include:
• Little Brother, Damien (Providence, RI) • Little Sister Kena (Cranston, RI)
• Little Sister Mariah (W.Warwick, RI) • Little Sister Shay-Lynn (Coventry, RI)

This annual event allows the agency to distribute scholarships to graduating Little Brothers/Sisters and the proceeds from the event go back into the Scholarship Fund for future scholars, a strategy to ensure that the Scholarship Fund continues to be available to our Little Brothers/Sisters for many years to come.

One of this year’s Sponsorship Recipients, Kena DeLeon, (pictured with her Big Sister, Donna) had this to say about her experience as a Little Sister. “Being matched with Donna for the past 11 years has been an awesome experience for me. Donna is my adventurous Big Sister who brings me out of my comfort zone. She shows me that life doesn't mean playing video games all the time and that there's more outside in the real world. She shows me love, respect, and life lessons. I have been blessed to be a part of her and her family as she has been a part of me and my mom. Thank you BBBS for matching me with my Big Sis, Donna B.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State is Rhode Island’s leading mentoring organization and has been serving boys and girls in Rhode Island for over 50 years. Our mission is to provide mentors to the youth of Rhode Island who will motivate and empower them to make positive decisions, improve academic results, avoid risky behaviors, and grow in a way that will positively impact our community. For more information on how you can become involved with BBBSOS, visit, call 401-921-2434 x101, or email


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