Scholar Exhibits at Smithsonian

The Carr Family Memorial Scholarships fund was established in early 2023 by Lisa and Alan Smith of Virginia. Lisa is a Capital Region native, growing up and graduating from Berlin High School in Rensselaer County.

Lisa and her husband, Alan, wanted to honor Lisa’s mother, Jean L. Carr, with a memorial scholarship in her name for a first-generation college student from her alma mater, Berlin. The fund was later renamed the Carr Family Memorial Scholarships so they could offer a second award in memory of Lisa’s father, Joseph L. Carr, Sr. to a Berlin High School graduate pursuing a vocational certification.

Daniel “Danny” Rivera, a recent Berlin graduate, was the inaugural recipient of the Jean L. Carr Memorial Scholarship. Danny is currently a student at Siena College. He was featured in the local news for his artwork. His piece, titled Tears, will be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution and will become part of the Art in Embassies collection – which will be shown in embassies around the world.

“Awarding a memorial scholarship comes with a degree of sadness as you inevitably reflect on the loss of a loved one. How quickly our sadness turned to joy when we read Daniel’s letter of recommendation! We realized then that we would be playing a role in helping a fine young man to reach his dreams. I had the opportunity to present the award, shake Danny’s hand, and share in his smile. I knew at that moment that the real gift is the one he gave to us. Mom would be so happy!”
—Lisa Smith, Advisor, Carr Family Memorial Scholarships

The Community Foundation is proud of our history of supporting students across the region. Since 1996, the Foundation has stewarded scholarships to support students’ dreams—from those pursuing a professional certificate in the trades, to students pursuing a graduate degree—our funds provide access and opportunity for all to thrive.

This year, the Foundation will introduce a universal scholarship application. This simplified, streamlined process will allow the Foundation to reach even more students, breaking down barriers for scholarship support.

Click here to learn more about establishing a scholarship fund.