Wright’s announces latest winners in $5,000 Ducharme scholarship

From left are restaurant owner Frank Galleshaw, scholarship recipient Tyler Franklin and Joan Ducharme-Surprenant, teacher and daughter of George P. Ducharme.

BURRILLVILLE – Wright’s Farm Restaurant announced the latest recipients it the business’s annual scholarship program this week, noting that graduating Burrillville High School seniors Tyler Franklin and Julia Tripodi have each been awarded $5,000.

The students were the winners of the 8th annual George P. Ducharme Scholarship Program, with college funding presented in honor of a former Burrillville educator. The young scholars were surprised with the scholarship during BHS’ annual Senior Night on Wednesday, June 7.

This fall, Franklin will enter Bentley University to study finance and entrepreneurship in hopes of becoming a corporate finance manager, while Tripodi will enter the University of Vermont to study biology and psychology with the goal of working in neurological medicine/science or as a family physician. 

According to a release on the awards, a host of students from Burrillville High School applied for the scholarship this year, named after a 1948 graduate of Burrillville High School and awarded athlete who went on to become the high school’s vice principal and principal from 1966-1985. The late George Ducharme was still substituting as principal when duty called within the Burrillville School District as recently as 2019.

“He was a military veteran, a mentor, and a valued member of the community for more than 70 years,” the restaurant noted. 

“Carrying on the legacy of Mr. Ducharme is an honor and a privilege,” said restaurant owner Frank Galleshaw III. “Mr. Ducharme was my teacher, coach, and principal when I was in school, and the lessons he taught me in the classroom and on the field helped to shape me into the person that I am today. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to help these two passionate students pursue their educational goals for the future in his honor.”

The business, located at 84 Inman Road, doubled its scholarship program last year from $2,500 per student to $5,000 in recognition of the restaurant’s 50th anniversary. Galleshaw and wife Joyce Galleshaw purchased Wright’s Farm Restaurant in 1972 and grew it to the Rhode Island landmark it is today, serving family-style chicken with seating for up to 1,200 in six dining rooms and banquet facilities.

The scholarship is open to students attending a U.S.-based four-year college or university. To be eligible to apply, students must be a Burrillville town resident, member of the Burrillville High School graduating class that year, and have received official acceptance to a matriculating accredited four-year college or university. The selection criteria is based on demonstrated achievement and need; academic and personal recommendations; academic and personal achievements; school and community involvement; and additional factors as determined by the George P. Ducharme Scholarship Committee.   

Entries are available by visiting the website at: http://www.wrightsfarm.com/about/scholarship/. Entries for the 2024 scholarship will begin in February. 

Scholarship recipient Julia Tripodi, center, with Galleshaw and Ducharme-Surprenant.

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