87 Scholarships awarded since 2012; $56,050 in total disbursed.

Aspire Higher Art Scholarship

This award perpetuates Krista’s passion for the arts by honoring talented RI students who dream of a life in the arts. Krista, our Kiki, loved music, film, theater and dance and was building a career as an actor and screenwriter. She aspired to make a difference through her artistic talents… to entertain, empower, heal, inspire, soothe, excite, and bring people together in significant ways. Along the way she wrote, “We are driven to succeed, not for fame or fortune… well… maybe a little… but for the sake of creating change… of sticking it out until our stories are told and we have nothing left to say”. While pursuing her passions, she generously shared her talents to encourage others to reach for their dreams. 

We look for candidates who exemplify Krista’s compassionate spirit, her wonderful joy for life, her thirst for learning , and her zeal to set seemingly impossible goals no matter the challenge. We continue her life story by supporting the dreams of other budding artists.

Ironman Scholarship Award

This scholarship honors the memory of Zachary Jamison Weller, the younger cousin of Krista Weller Burns. Zach tragically lost his life in 2021 at the age of 35. Zachary was a kind and loving soul with talents that brought smiles to his friends and family. But Zach faced mental health and emotional challenges that kept him from truly developing his gifts. We call this the “Ironman” Scholarship because he was a big Marvel Comics fan and Ironman was his favorite superhero. Mental health issues were his demons and his talents, his armor. We remember him as our superhero for his strength against these obstacles. 

By shining a light on the talents of kids facing similar challenges on their path to success, we honor Zachary’s life. So, we look for other “superheroes”, young adults with their own talents, in the throes of dealing with mental and emotional health issues. Zachary, our Ironman, will amass his own group of brave Avengers willing to share their stories becoming beacons to those who follow.

EJCA Achievement Award

This award honors Krista’s willingness to give her time and energy to her community through her work in politics which helped bring The Job Corps Academy to Exeter. In 1999, at age 24, Krista was elected to the Exeter Town Council and served two terms in office. During that time, she worked to overcome opposition to the Job Corps project. She believed in the mission of providing an alternative path to youth who needed a second chance to realize their potential. She herself, at this time, was not too much older than the youth who would benefit from the program. 

Krista was a dynamic young woman who had to hold her own in the, at times, nasty arena of local politics. She worked with heart and head for improved communication and collaboration among council members. Those who doubted her abilities due to age and gender came to respect and admire her hard work and professionalism. It took one more YES vote to make Job Corps a reality and she worked to convince that one council member to make a difference in the lives of these young adults. She had a lot of “true grit”! 

We continue her support of the Job Corp mission by supporting the hopes and dreams of youth working to create a better future for themselves. If even one life has been changed for the better, then Krista’s efforts were well spent.

Camperships for Kids

These camp scholarships honor Krista’s helpful and kind nature, her active lifestyle, and her work as a teen camp counselor and lifeguard. They help us remember our gal on the go… swimming, rowing, riding horses, running, rollerblading, gardening, and enjoying any kind of outdoor fun! Her enthusiasm for an active life made her a natural at nurturing campers as young as 5 to play, learn, create, grow, and bloom! It could be exhausting but also rewarding to encourage kids to try new things, gain new skills, make friends, build confidence, and have some FUN! We give kudos to the camp counselors who, like our Kiki, work hard providing a great camp experience while keeping everyone safe.

Past Scholarship Recipients

Aleck R Bogaert – TAPA
Anna DeMetrick – SKHS
Annastasia Bellerice – EJC
Benjamin Flynn – MHBW
Brandon Nelson – MHBW
Connor Stubbs – EWG
Lily Schofield – SKHS
Madison Dube – EWG
3 RI Write on Sports Camp 
2 Yawgoo Valley Ski School

Alyssa Hiener – SKHS
Benjamin Harley – MHBW
Carmela Andreozzi – CHSW
Caroline O’Neil – NARR
Donghyuk Jang – SKHS
Ella Rozea – MHBW
Emma Schwab – EWG
Peter Labonte – MKBW

Abigail Royal – CHSW
Ilaria D’Andrea – NARR
Kashton Fielding – PHS
Keegan Bonds – MET
Michelina Smith – EWG
Noelle Salisbury – EGRN

Alyssa Gibbs – NKHS
Danielle Dotter – CHSW
Gianno Pietro – EJCA
Kayla Ribeiro – TAPA
Lauren Smith – CHSW
Nicolas Godena – NARR
Samuel McCarthy – SKHS
Yvonne Ramos – MHBW
6 Imaginorium Camperships

Aria Pegg – CWHS
Danielle Dotter – CHSW
Francis Ogunnubi – MET
Jacob Simmons – EJCA
Jaelyn Chaffee – EWG
Jamie Cores – TAPA
Kalin Froberg – NKHS
Kyle Valentine – EJCA
Marilyn Machon – NARR
Riley Barrett – SKHS
Stacy Foley – EJCA

Danielle Dotter – CHSW
Gabrielle Mattera – NKHS
Laura Wilson – JHS
Lea Fabre – EWG
Zoe Noel Goodwin – EJCA
3 Alton Jones Camperships

Alexander Santiago – TAPA
Brandon Harris – NKHS
Brooke Pagliarini – EWG
Danielle Dotter – CHSW
Elena Micelli – EWG
Grace Vargo-Willeford – CHS
Justin Farmer – JMWALSH
Matthew Knight – WVETS
Timothy McPartlen – EJCA
Tyler Nordin – WVETS

Anthony Biagetti – EJCA
Amber Maldonado – EWG
Charissa Menard – JMWALSH
Jake Clarke – NARR
Natalie Toland – NKHS
Omer Al Azzawi – EJCA

Ashley Diaz – EJCA
Casey Butler – NARR
Emilie Simonini – EWG
Ethan Marble – NKHS
Kelly Robertson – EWG
Madison Loomis – NARR

Alexandre Saylor – EJCA
Emily Rondeau – EJCA
Michael Carnevale – EWG
Victoria Albin – NKHS

Michael Grenier – NKHS

CHS-Chariho High School
CHSW-Cranston High School West
EGRN-East Greenwich High School
EJCA-Exeter Job Corps Academy
EWG-Exeter/West Greenwich HS
JHS-Johnston High School
JMWALSH- Walsh Sch for the Arts
MET- The Met High School
MHBW-Mt Hope Bristol/Warren HS 
NARR-Narragansett High School
NKHS-North Kingstown High School
PHS-Pilgrim High School
SKHS-South Kingstown High School
TAPA-Trinity Academy of Perf Arts
WVETS-Warwick Vets Memorial HS

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