Smithfield High graduate wins Touro college grant


CRANSTON – Alexander Brenner, the son of Jeremy and Sandi Brenner, of Smithfield, has been awarded a $5,000 educational grant from the Touro Fraternal Association to defray the cost of a college education.

Alex was chosen as the grant winner after a rigorous selection process conducted by Touro’s Student Financial Aid Committee.

In addition, three applicants will share in a total of $10,500 in interest-free loans from Touro’s Leo Greenberg Memorial Scholarship Fund. These loans are repayable starting six months after the student graduates or is no longer a full-time student.

Alex is a freshman at the College of New Jersey, studying physics. A 2021 graduate of Smithfield High School, he played the trombone and bass guitar for his school band, the Rhode Island Philharmonic Youth Jazz Band and the R.I. All-State Band.

He was the co-captain of the Smithfield High cross-country team and a medalist at the Junior Varsity State Championships. He has also won many Science Olympiad medals.  His team took first place in the Mission Possible competition, where they built a Rube Goldberg machine.

Brenner is also a Boy Scout, earning the highest rank, Eagle Scout, by volunteering at the R.I. Special Olympics and refurbishing his high school’s music department cabinets, shelving and props closet. He also volunteered to assist the band teacher at an elementary school and was a chemistry tutor through the National Honor Society, as well as a math and reading tutor at his local library. His father Jeremy is the longtime president of Congregation B’nai Israel in Woonsocket.

Since the establishment of the student grant and loan program in 1981, Touro has made financial awards to ease the cost of higher education. Regular Touro members, their children and the children of deceased Touro members who are enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning are eligible to apply for the interest-free loans and a one-time $5,000 grant. In both cases, regular Touro members must be in good standing for at least two years to be eligible.

For more information about Touro’s loan and grant programs, as well as other benefits for members, go to, send an email to, or call the office at 401-785-6600.

Submitted by the Touro Fraternal Association.