Young Woman’s Passion for Learning, Helping Others Will Endure

Rebecca Rhodes Memorial Scholarship Established to Honor Henderson Native

WATERTOWN — A new, permanent scholarship fund has been established at the Northern New York Community Foundation to honor the legacy of Rebecca A.G. Rhodes, a gifted student who was endlessly curious about the natural world around her.

Ms. Rhodes, a Henderson native, was a 2010 Belleville-Henderson Central School graduate. At the time of her passing in 2018, she was graduating from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, Miss., with a Master of Science in engineering science focusing on geological engineering. She was the daughter of Gary and Jolene Rhodes.

Ms. Rhodes was deeply involved in her studies and dedicated to the geology profession, serving as a member of several professional organizations. She studied geology, math and physics at SUNY Brockport, graduating magna cum laude from the honors program in 2014. She was also part of the Green. Gold, and Presidential Leadership Development Program and president of the Earth Science Club and the Sigma Gamma Earth Science Honor Society. Ms. Rhodes interned at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, excavating bone sites, and was one of few students in recent years to earn an internship as an undergraduate researcher at the University of Texas at Austin Environmental Science Institute in its program for Global Change and Sustainability.

She was well-known for her love and kindness toward others while filling her days with life as she endeavored to grow in her education and see friends succeed.

To honor her life and memory, her family has established the Rebecca Rhodes Memorial Scholarship to help undergraduate juniors and seniors as well as graduate students. Jefferson County students pursuing studies in the STEM sciences, especially geology, are encouraged to apply.

The Rhodes family thanks those who have generously given to make this enduring tribute possible while remembering Rebecca and her gifts.

“We want to remember Becky’s smile and humor and thank her friends for the good times they shared with her. We hope this will help others along their path,” Gary and Jolene Rhodes said.

“We are sincerely grateful for her life with us and the memories and smiles she leaves with us.” Contact the Northern New York Community Foundation, 315-782-7110, to learn more about the scholarship and specific application requirements or visit

About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Through strategic partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the community. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.

The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.