Transform Rhode Island Scholarship

Giving Rhode Island youth a voice, and power to change our communities with the greatest need, one big idea at a time.

The Transform Rhode Island Scholarship (TRIS) gives voice to young people who have ideas and want to make a difference in the Ocean State’s communities with the greatest need. TRIS also serves to remove barriers to higher education. If you had $1-million how would you change Rhode Island? We’re listening.

Scholarship Information

Now in its third year, TRIS is designed to seek out their most creative ideas from high school students on how to transform the Ocean State in the areas of education, skills training, business, healthcare and housing. Additionally, TRIS is designed to help clear financial barriers for high school students who want to further their education.

Leadership Rhode Island’s work with Siya Singhal.

Papitto Opportunity Connection Partners with Leadership Rhode Island to Make 14-year-old Siya Singhal’s Million-Dollar Idea Come to Life.

2022 Winner: Mariam Kaba

In 2022, almost 100 high school students from across Rhode Island applied for the first Transform RI Scholarship. Meet the five incredible winning students, whose ideas can truly change their communities.

Restoring The Villiage: Mariam Kaba

It takes a village to restore a village. Woonsocket High School senior Mariam Kaba, the Papitto Opportunity Connection 2022 Transform Rhode Island Scholarship (TRIS) winner, has spent the last year collaborating with a team from Leadership Rhode Island (LRI) to execute her vision of making her hometown of Woonsocket a better place to live and work.




2023 TRIS Scholars




Siya Singhal (Winner)

The Wheeler School

Siya’s Winning Idea –

Crossing Borders, Creating Bridges – providing youth access and connecting elementary schools to non-profit cultural organizations through interactive seminars to create cultural confidence.

Adriyonna Lockhart

Rogers High

Adriyonna’s change making idea is to create a family support center for BIPOC families and single parents struggling with food insecurity, housing, and the increasing high cost of childcare.

Darius Ajakaiye

Moses Brown

Darius’ big idea is an immersive gaming experience built around life lessons, learning, career awareness and workforce development. Hiis focus is to combine education with fun where youth already are (gaming), making it an easy way to reach them in the future.

Donovan Turner

Classical High

Donovan’s change making idea is to create a program that offers ESL classes and provides its students with childcare services and transportation.

Ellie Vest

Moses Brown

Ellie’s big idea is to partner with local businesses to create internship opportunities, which will be accessible in a convenient website and app. InternXRI will put the internship opportunities directly in the hands of RI’s BIPOC teens.

Jayden Chagnon

The Met School

Jayden’s big idea is to create “The Art & Maker Bus,” designed to provide access to creative learning opportunities, arts and entrepreneurship training to RI’s BIPOC communities and offers exposure for artists of color.

Keyla Cintron

Johnson and Wales

Keyla’s change making idea focuses on transforming unused areas into temporary living spaces for the homeless.

Krystallyah Ratsabout

Dr. Jorge Alvarez High/Rhode Island College

Krystallyah’s big idea is centered around a multi-faceted leadership program that would educate students about their culture’s history and, in turn, empower them to help others embrace their identity.

Nicolas Upegui

North Providence High / Yale University

Nicolas’ big idea is anchored around a mentorship and enrichment program specifically for students of color through BIPOC mentors. The program would help students build confidence, critical learning skills, and leadership skills, while simultaneously destroying prejudice.

Zachary Pinto

Shea High School /Emerson

Zach’s big idea is to create street medicine teams that would bring critical services to RI’s homeless population, people struggling with addiction and those facing mental health challenges.




2022 TRIS Scholars




Mariam Kaba (Winner)

Woonsocket Career & Tech

Mariam’s Winning idea –
Develop a program that offers career exploration, financial literacy, provides mental health wellness opportunities for young people of color and restores communities through dedicated activities.

Daisha Jackson

The Met / Study Abroad

Yoga4All: Yoga Mats with a QR code that would provide constantly changing information on health and mental wellness.

Isabelle Mitchell

The Wheeler School

Create an annual BIPOC festival to celebrate the job and strength of the BIPOC communities.

Jalisa Ramos

The Met School / RIC

Urban Agriculture Project: to create sustainable urban agriculture projects to combat food insecurity and create access to healthy foods.

Ziondre Ogiba

The Met / RIC

A program that combines athletics and education to combat summer learning loss.

Submit Your Ideas

Only by listening, can we truly help change narratives.