CREC: Bruce E. Douglas Ph.D. Scholarship for Overcoming Adversity (CREC Foundation)
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CREC Foundation



Darlene Wolliston
Foundation & Program Officer
(860) 240-6668

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Bruce E. Douglas Scholarship for Overcoming Adversity

Congratulations to our 2023 Winners

A photo of our Scholarship winners alongside Bruce Douglas, Foundation officer Darlene Wolliston, and CREC ED Greg Florio

The Bruce E. Douglas Scholarship for Overcoming Adversity is awarded to a deserving CREC region high school senior who is enrolled in a two or four-year college for the upcoming year. The recipient will be eligible for up to $6,000 to be used for university fees, meal plans, summer housing, books, or supplies. Equal payments will be made directly to the attending college for up to four years of active enrollment.

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Below is the timeline for interested applicants to plan the submission of their application to the Bruce E. Douglas Scholarship for Overcoming Adversity as well as key dates when eligible applicants will be notified:

April 2, 2024 Applications must be completed and received by this date to be considered for the scholarship.
Mid April Applications are reviewed by the Scholarship Committee.
Early May Email notification is sent to scholarship recipients' email addresses

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Graduating high school senior at a public or alternative high school located in a CREC Member District (towns listed below).
  • Enrolled in a two or four year college in the fall.
  • Submit application form and 500 word essay.

CREC Member Districts and Eligible Towns

· Avon*
· Berlin*
· Bloomfield
· Bolton*
· Bristol
· Burlington
· Canton*
· Cromwell*
· East Granby*
· East Hartford
· East Windsor*
· Ellington*
· Enfield*
· Farmington*
· Glastonbury*
· Granby*
· Hartford*
· Harwinton
· Manchester
· New Britain
· Newington*
· Plainville*
· Portland*
· Rocky Hill*
· Simsbury*
· Somers*
· Southington*
· South Windsor*
· Suffield*
· Vernon*
· West Hartford*
· Wethersfield*
· Windsor
· Windsor Locks*

* Hartford Region Open Choice Program Partnering Districts

Essay requirements

In no more than 500 words please describe a difficult situation that you overcame to accomplish a life goal. Please demonstrate to the reader how your struggle to overcome adversity has defined your personal growth. Then, describe how you will use your higher education to help transform your community.


A scholarship committee will review the essays in April and grant awards to recipients in May. Awards are renewed annually up to four years provided student maintains enrollment status.

The 2023 Recipients

Jalen Artis's headshot

Jalen Artis

Hall High School (West Hartford), Hartford Region Open Choice Program

Attending Clark Atlanta University, majoring in Computer Science

Tristan Davis's headshot

Tristan Davis

Windsor High School

Attending Hampton University, majoring in Music Education

Holly Gottmann's headshot

Holly Gottmann

CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Full Day

Attending Southern Connecticut State University, majoring in Psychology

Nathaniel Rosario's headshot

Nathaniel Rosario

CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering

Attending the University of Connecticut, major to be determined

Ria Saxena's headshot

Ria Saxena

South Windsor High School

Attending George Washington University, majoring in Economics

About Bruce

Bruce E. Douglas, Ph.D., has dedicated nearly 50 years to educating Connecticut’s children and families, and served as CREC’s executive director from 2001 to 2015.

Bruce began his career as a social sciences and history teacher, coach, and school administrator for Bloomfield Public Schools. He later served as superintendent of Suffield Public Schools before arriving at CREC in 1998 as the agency’s assistant executive director.

Bruce’s transformative leadership, divergent thinking, and inspirational mentorship have shaped the educational and social landscape of Connecticut and improved the future for Connecticut’s children.

Bruce is a relentless social justice advocate for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. He led CREC to adopt a culture of serving the best interests of children and families in Connecticut’s capitol region, and developed policy and legislation that drove public education to the forefront of the Connecticut General Assembly’s agenda each year. Bruce works tirelessly to eliminate the local, national, and global achievement gaps and to ensure that every child receives a world-class public education.

©2023 Capitol Region Education Council
111 Charter Oak Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106   •   (860) 247-CREC

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