Photo: Len Burgess
Russ Smith Youth Scholarship
Beginning in 2012, the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee chose to broaden its effort to institutionalize the educational component of the Festival by providing additional opportunities for the youth of Cape Ann. This scholarship fund is provided annually, as part of the Gloucester Schooner Festival. Every year a portion of the funds raised to produce the festival are set aside to provide financial support to local youth seeking maritime skills and on-the-water experiences. A generous seed grant from the Gerondelis Foundation in honor of Barbara “Sis” Smith was donated by longtime Festival Committee member Ralph “Russ” Smith, to support these scholarships. Funds have been awarded to several young men and women over the past ten years. Past recipients have been presented with amounts ranging from $500 to $1000 to participate in programs from Gloucester Museum School Project Adventure Summer Camp, Gloucester High School Sailing, and Mass Maritime Academy.
Corryn Ulrich was one recipient of this fund. She has now graduated from Mass Maritime Academy and has joined the U S Coast Guard. In a letter of appreciation for her first scholarship she wrote:
I have recently completed my freshman year at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. I have learned that overcoming challenges (whether it’s waking up at five A.M. for cleaning stations, or standing Admiral’s inspections) is certainly worth the struggle. I acquired a new outlook on life and see myself as a more resilient person than I was before.
Our friend, Russ Smith, passed away on September 15th of 2021. The Schooner Festival Committee has since announced that the Youth Scholarship will now be named in his honor. Russ was quick to support any effort for youth involvement in the Gloucester Schooner Festival and when the committee wanted to have a broader “ripple effect” than simply the one weekend per year, Russ was eager to help us in our ability to provide funds.
We now seek donations from the community to keep Russ' legacy going.
Please consider a donation in any amount to the Russ Smith Youth Scholarship for Maritime Education.
Pictured: Corryn Ulrich receiving her scholarship in 2017. Corryn went on the receive the scholarship for three years in a row as she attended Massachusetts Maritime Academy.