Providence, RI (August 3, 2020) – The Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Future of Rhode Island Scholarship Award.

This year’s recipients are Christopher Azar of LaSalle Academy; Nicholas Bottone of Ponaganset High School; and Sydney G. Federico of Westerly High School.

“Being able to give back to our members has been quite rewarding but pales in comparison to the pride our board feels regarding the caliber and character of our scholarship recipients. These traits are so wonderfully represented by all three of this year’s scholarship winners. They truly are the ‘Future of Rhode Island,’” said Al Grant, the First Vice President of the Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association (RIMBA).

In order to be eligible, students must be a high school senior or in college with one year left and a son or daughter of an employee at a RIMBA member organization. To be considered, students must fill out an application and submit an essay.

All three winners are accomplished students who have graduated at the top of their classes. (See below for individual bios.)

Each scholarship award is $1,000 and can be applied towards tuition or any other college- or vocational school-related expense, such as housing or books.

“RIMBA established the Future of Rhode Island Scholarship Award five years ago. We had hoped that that it would be a nice way to give back to our members. The support and enthusiasm for the program has been tremendous right from the start and due to this, three years ago, we were able to increase our awards from one per year to three,” Grant said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual awards ceremony was canceled. But RIMBA may still hold a special online ceremony at its next virtual board meeting.

2020 Future of Rhode Island Scholarship Winners

Christopher Azar graduated near the top of his class at LaSalle Academy. He will attend Providence College in the fall, majoring in accounting. At LaSalle, Chris was involved in the Student Council Executive Board, LaSallian Youth, and National Honor Society and was a winner of the Harvard Book Award. He is the son of Brian and Eileen Azar. (Brian works at Navigant Credit Union.)

Nicholas Bottone is the valedictorian of his class. He is headed to Brown University in the fall where he will study computer science. At Ponaganset, he was the Director of Programming and a four-year member of the competitive robotics team, the founder and director of the Code Clash competitive coding competition, a Math League Mathlete, an IT intern for the Foster-Glocester School System, and a varsity swimmer. He is the son of David and Allyson Bottone. (David works at Residential Mortgage Services.)

Sydney G. Federico graduated third in her class. She plans to attend URI’s College of Pharmacy and will compete on the track team. She had received numerous academic distinctions including the National and RI Honor Society. She also has had a distinguished high school athletic career with national, regional, and all state track awards. She has been involved in Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse and volunteered for the Westerly Senior Center, the Knights of Columbus, and the Colonial Theater. In addition to the scholarship, Sydney was also named The Providence Journal Honor Roll Girl for her academic and athletic accomplishments. She is the daughter of Jim and Romina Federico. (Romina works at Washington Trust.)

About Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association

The Rhode Island Mortgage Bankers Association is dedicated to promoting and sustaining responsible home lending in Rhode Island. The mortgage association has over 90 corporate members, which represent thousands of mortgage lenders throughout the state who help businesses and people secure mortgages. As part of its overarching plan to create a better housing market, RIMBA regularly promotes educational initiatives, addresses legislative challenges, and strives to cultivate membership growth. For more information about RIMBA, visit: