The College Crusade of Rhode Island is an innovative nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to reduce high school dropout rates and increase educational and career success for low-income urban youth. Each year we serve approximately 3,900 Crusaders from Rhode Island's most economically disadvantaged families in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, and Cranston. We combine the steady, nurturing presence of caring adults with a rich array of programs that focus on academic enrichment, social and personal development, career awareness and exploration, and preparation for postsecondary education. Students who are members of The College Crusade go on to college at much higher rates than other students in the state's urban school districts. Since 2001, we have awarded over $30 million in college scholarships to more than 3,800 high school graduates.
Cindy Cesar'09 (Mount Pleasant High School) graduated from Rhode Island College in 2013 with a B.S in Biology and a minor in chemistry. Receiving a College Crusade scholarship made a difference. "During my college career, I knew that taking summer courses would be the best way to keep on track with my studies," she says. "was able to use the College Crusade scholarship to fund the entirety of my summer schooling, and that removed a lot of pressure because I was able to fully focus on my classes and not so much on how I was going to afford them.Cindy has great memories of being a Crusader. "My experience was phenomenal," she says. "I met so many amazing mentors over the course of every important stage of my life, whether transitioning from middle school to high school, or helping me find out who I am and who I wanted to be as a person. The program that had the biggest effect on me was Crusade Summer Experience. It helped me break free of my shell and form bonds with my mentors and fellow Crusaders, most of whom remain very close friends of mine."