Earlier this year, Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) lost a colleague when Brian T. Squadrito, 46, passed unexpectedly in his sleep. To honor his memory, the Bank has awarded a $2,500 grant to Year Up Providence to establish a Memorial Scholarship in Brian’s name.
Brian, who was from Warwick, began his career with BankRI in 1999; working for nearly 14 years in the Bank’s Information Technology department as a senior network specialist. After earning a degree in Finance from Bentley University, Brian was quickly drawn to IT, which soon became his passion both personally and professionally. The Brian T. Squadrito Scholarship with Year Up Providence will provide an at-risk youth with access to a yearlong career-training program in the field of IT.
“Brian was a true IT professional and valued member of the BankRI team – it’s a tragedy that he left us at such a young age – the entire Bank misses him dearly,” Mark J. Meiklejohn, president and CEO of BankRI, said in a statement. “We are proud to honor Brian’s memory through this scholarship, which will help others realize their dream of working in IT – a field that meant so much to Brian during his life.”
Year Up Providence is a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits and corporate internships. Since opening its doors in January of 2005, Year Up has experienced tremendous success; doubling in size as of March 2013 to serve over 240 students annually. The organization’s mission is to close the opportunity divide – giving underserved youth the tools they need to realize their full potential, obtain livable wage employment and enroll in higher education.
Participating students enroll in the yearlong career training program; spending their first six months in Year Up’s classrooms learning the marketable skills linked to proficiency in technology, professionalism and business communications. Their second six months feature a corporate internship at leading Rhode Island companies. Throughout the entire program, youth are paired with a staff advisor, earn a stipend and are matched with a professional business-community mentor. Over the past year, nearly 90 percent of Year Up graduates found employment within four months of completing the program with an average beginning wage of $15 per hour.
“We are honored to have our son’s memory associated with this program, especially as it will help youth with limited resources and opportunities begin careers in IT,” said Elaine Squadrito, Brian’s mother. His father, Tom, added, “This is something we never expected; it truly demonstrates how much BankRI appreciated Brian and what he meant to everyone there.”