Project Undercover launches first-of-its-kind diaper scholarship at CCRI

Project Undercover Launches First-of-its-Kind “Diaper Scholarship” at CCRI
Nonprofit aims to reduce burden on parents in school by covering the cost of a basic necessity

Providence, RI
– Project Undercover, the only organization in Rhode Island dedicated to reducing diaper need, is pleased to announce the creation of a first-of-its-kind “diaper scholarship” in partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island. The Frank DePetrillo Project Undercover Award, available to students on all four CCRI campuses, will provide diapers and baby wipes for an entire calendar year for up to five students who have a child under age 7 or are expecting. Applications for the scholarship are open until Friday, June 30.

Project Undercover’s core mission is to provide diapers, socks, underwear, and baby wipes to help the approximately 20,000 Rhode Island children under age 7 living in poverty. The organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and created the scholarship in honor of its co-founder, Frank DePetrillo, who has spent the majority of his life helping Rhode Islanders in need.

The organization approached CCRI about creating the program as a way to extend its services to more Rhode Islanders. To the best of Project Undercover’s knowledge, it is the first such award of its kind anywhere, and the organization hopes it will serve as a model for similar organizations throughout the country. 

“After 25 years of supporting Rhode Island families in times of need, we’ve learned that the struggle to afford diapers is often an obstacle to education,” said Project Undercover co-founder and president, Richard Fleischer. “The goal of the Project Undercover Frank DePetrillo Award is to help students at CCRI, who represent many of the most underserved populations in Rhode Island, by relieving the financial and emotional stress of providing enough diapers for their children.” 

The scholarship will be awarded to one enrolled student at each of CCRI’s four campuses, and up to five students total. Project Undercover will deliver diapers on a monthly basis in the size the student selects. To qualify, students must be a parent or legal guardian of a child up to age 7 or an expecting parent whose child will be born before the start of the award. Eligible students must have a grade point average of at least 3.0, demonstrate extenuating financial circumstances, and be enrolled in at least their second semester at CCRI. 

Looking forward, Project Undercover will attempt to secure grant funding to create a paid position for a CCRI student to coordinate the program. 
“Our students juggle families, jobs, and school while making sure they have access to reliable transportation, health care, and income,” said CCRI Dean of Students Michael Cunningham. “CCRI has been making efforts, especially in the past two years, to increase its connections with social service agencies, nonprofits, and other colleges to make sure it can make strong referrals to students in need. This type of opportunity will make a deep and meaningful difference for the award recipients and could well allow them to focus more attention on school or graduate a little bit quicker – or even just alleviate some of the daily stress.” 

Students interested in applying for the scholarship can use their MyCCRI email and password to log in to the application portal at Applications close June 30.

(release from Project Unvercover)