Brandon Brown, Legislative Grant Coordinator, University of Rhode Island Talent Development Program
Brandon F. Brown has lived in Rhode Island for ten years. During this time Brandon attended and graduated from Central Falls High School and the University of Rhode Island. As an undergraduate, he studied Sociology and Political Science. Brandon also served as President and Treasurer of the URI NAACP College Chapter in addition to collaborating on various occasions with the University’s Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. Brandon is currently completing his final semester as a graduate student of Public Administration. Professionally, he has worked for organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, Eastbay Community Action Program and South County Community Action Agency. His personal philosophy can be attributed to the teaching of scholars such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Hegel, Karl Marx, Howard Zinn, the American Founding Fathers and a variety of religious perspectives aimed toward promoting peaceful and harmonious existence for humanity in our world. He is currently working as a Legislative Grant Coordinator with the University of Rhode Island Talent Development Program in collaboration with Hope High School of Providence, RI in the continued facilitation of the Guaranteed Admissions Program which aids high school students in their individual pursuits of high learning. Additionally, Brandon is interning with the Office of the Public Defender with the 6th District Court of Rhode Island. His personal goal is to simply reciprocate the support that he has received from the many Rhode Island community members while paying forward a debt to future generations in similar need of positive role models, encouragement and motivation to succeed.
Raymonde Charles recently served as the Northeast Ohio Regional Press Secretary for Obama for America where she designed and executed the OFA earned media program in the Cleveland media market, which contained the state’s largest percentage of persuadable voters. Prior to working on the President’s campaign, Raymonde was the Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Cicilline. She began her career at Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, a nonprofit organization focused on child advocacy.
Tom Chen, Humanities Teacher, Paul Cuffee School
After graduating from Amherst College in 2007 as a recipient of the Rockefeller Brothers Fellowship for Teaching, Tom Chen earned a Masters in Teaching in 2008 from Brown University. He stayed in Providence to teach 8th grade humanities at the Paul Cuffee School. Paul Cuffee School is a nationally recognized charter school that serves students from all parts of the city with 80% students of color and 70% live in poverty. Tom and his students explore how people make decisions that affect their lives, community, and the world. Tom's humanities class focuses literacy and social studies through the lens of Holocaust, immigration, Japanese internment, Civil Rights Movement, and global warming. In the spring of 2010, Tom received the Joyce and Bob Starr Award from the Holocaust Education and Resource Center of Rhode Island for outstanding teachers of Holocaust history. In 2010, Tom was a staffer and education committee member for Angel Taveras's successful campaign for mayor of Providence. That same year, he was a candidate for the Ward Committee in District 13 (Federal Hill and Armory). In 2012, Tom was the campaign manager for Libby Kimzey's run for State Representative for District 8 (Federal Hill, Valley, Olneyville in Providence). Through his experiences, Tom sees education, politics, and community as part of progressive change for prosperity and opportunity for everyone.
Amanda Clarke is a Legislative Analyst at Advocacy Solutions LLC, a public affairs firm in Providence, RI specializing in government relations and strategic communications. As an integral member of the government relations team, Amanda assists with policy research and analysis in a variety of areas including health care and higher education. Prior to joining the team at Advocacy Solutions LLC, Amanda worked at the United Way of Rhode Island, where she provided support for community investment and public policy initiatives as a project manager focusing on the policy areas of housing, income and education. Amanda began at United Way as an Annual Campaign Ambassador where she was part of a team responsible for organizing workplace campaigns across the state to help raise funds to support United Way’s initiatives. Amanda received her B.A. in Political Science and Master’s of Public Administration degree from the University of Rhode Island (URI). Amanda’s interest in politics began at an early age, spurring from political debates with family members around the dinner table. At URI Amanda was actively involved in the URI Student Senate and URI College Democrats. During her time at school she discovered her passion for progressive causes through coursework and extra circular activities, specifically environmental issues and equality. Throughout the 2012 election cycle Amanda spent time volunteering to help progressive candidates get elected by helping to organize volunteers, phone banking and canvassing the streets to engage voters. Amanda is currently an active member of the United Way’s Young Leaders Circle which works to promote the work of the United Way of Rhode Island and raise money for their initiatives as well as RINOW, Rhode Island’s chapter of the National Organization for Women. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Amanda hopes to stay in her home state and be a part of a movement to help turn Rhode Island’s image and economy around.
Lawrence Lee-Conley, Sales Representative, Verizon Wireless & Kids Footlocker
Lawrence Lee-Conley is currently a Graduate student at Johnson & Wales University. He is studying to attain his MBA in the area of Global Business Leadership. He is originally from Nashville, TN. Lawrence has a BA from North Carolina A&T State University in Political Science, where he minored in Industrial Engineering. He has held numerous leadership positions in student led organizations. Lawrence is the oldest of three siblings: he has a ten year old and a twenty-four year sister.
Ricardo Cortez, College Unbound, Big Picture Learning, Assistant Coordinator of Organizational Infrastructure
Ricardo Cortez is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at College Unbound, Big Picture Learning. Ricardo is a recent transplant to Providence, RI from Los Angeles, CA where he completed all of his previous studies and work experience. Ricardo has a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Communication Emphases from California State Polytechnic University Pomona, and a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of La Verne. Ricardo’s experience in education is very diverse. Ricardo began his career working with preschool age students. Previous to his cross-country move, he spent the last four years of his career teaching middle school in South Central Los Angeles. He’s also worked with adult English learners, elementary and high school students. His current position at College Unbound has allowed him to continue his work with adult learners in an advisory role. It has also allowed him the opportunity to build strong community partnerships while exploring Providence and its neighboring communities.
Bernard S. Georges
Bernard is originally from Haiti. Bernard S. Georges is a current candidate for the Master Public Administration at Roger Williams University, with a concentration in Public Management and Nonprofits. Bernard is a founder & CEO of Haiti Public News & New Bridges for Haitian Success. Bernard is also a member of the American Society for Public Administration. After graduating from Central High School, Providence Rhode island, Mr. Georges became fascinated by public service and leaders such Jean Jacques Dessalines, Toussaint L’Ouverture, John Lock, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Thurgood Marshall, and many others. During his time in Rhode Island, Bernard has displayed a keen interest in the community issues and interned at both the RI Superior Court and the Narragansett Police Department. Bernard has gained a solid understanding of the legal process, by assisting judges with confidential trial procedures as well as filing transcripts and civil records, complaints and redacted criminal cases. Bernard has become a vice president of student government on campus. Bernard has given speeches at conferences around the country encouraging students’ special education professionals, parents, and local leaders to set high standards for students. Bernard has held a senior at position non-profit child services at Child and Family Service, helping unprivileged, abused and neglected youths to unlock their potential. Bernard has held numerous leadership positions in student-led organizations and received a number of awards at Rhode Island Leadership, He has worked with Welcoming Rhode Island, the International Institute of Rhode Island, and many orders. Bernard clinical work at Rhode Island Supreme Court inspired a continuing commitment to help the large community. Mr. Georges has helped immigrant families navigate social services, and many other issues.
Gabrielle Godino, Admission Aide, University of Rhode Island
Gabrielle Godino is a lifelong Rhode Islander with a passion for social and economic justice. Gabrielle, who goes by Abby, grew up in Narragansett and holds a BA in Political Science from the nearby University of Rhode Island. During her studies, Abby worked as a research assistant in the Political Science department and also interned with U.S. Senator Reed. Abby has worked with the EMILY’s List Political Opportunity Program in Washington, D.C, helping to recruit and train progressive women to run for office and win. Most recently, in her work as a union organizer she helped workers form unions to secure collective bargaining rights in New York and Massachusetts. Currently, Abby is working for the University of Rhode Island’s Admission office and is making preparations to teach English abroad over the summer. In her downtime, Abby enjoys being spending times outdoors and hula hooping.
Kimberly Hanson, Youth Engagement & Action Intern, Plan International USA
Kim Hanson holds a BA and MA in International Development & Social Change from Clark University in Worcester, MA. Her other academic interests include government and international relations, peace studies, community development, and women’s studies. In fall of 2012 Kim worked for Plan International USA creating a toolkit to enable youth to raise awareness about, and funds for, water, sanitation, and hygiene in developing countries. From 2011-2012 she developed and managed a youth social entrepreneurship program with Social Venture Partners Rhode Island. She also spent two summers working with urban youth in the community building department of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley. During spring of 2009, Kimberly lived in Namibia where she studied with the Center for Global Education and interned at a day program for individuals with developmental disabilities. While her scholarly and job experience varies across a number of fields, she is primarily interested in tackling social welfare issues by mobilizing youth to create change in their communities. She volunteers with a youth leadership organization known as HOBY and as a teenager co-founded an Iraqi-American pen pal program. When not actively working on social change, Kim enjoys making narrative shorts and feature-length films with RI independent film company Love Thy Job.
Stephen Hogan Jr., Office Manager, Providence Community Action Program (ProCAP)
Stephen Hogan Jr. has lived in Rhode Island for most of his life. He grew up in Cranston, moved to Pawtucket for high school, lived in Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Senate Page for the late John Chaffee from 1995-1996 and graduated from William E. Tolman High School in 1997 where he was the vice-president of his class for his sophomore and junior years and a Model Legislative Senator his senior year. Stephen then went on to attended the University of Connecticut for 2 ½ years and transferred to Rhode Island College (RIC) to graduate Cum Laude with a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. While working full time and at RIC full time he served as a moderator for DebateWatch and is very proud to be the first in his family to ever go to college not to mention graduate. Stephen has been involved with community service work from the start. He regularly volunteered for the Boys & Girls Club in Pawtucket while in high school, helped to build two houses with Habitat for Humanity while in college and his first job out of college was created for him due to an impressive internship at the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence where he was hired as a Public Relations Associate in 2005 and helped to get gun control legislation passed through advocacy efforts at the RI State House. He then moved on to Marriage Equality Rhode Island in 2006 as an Administrator and continues to fight for marriage equality rights to this day. Stephen then went to the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP) as their Administrator and even got to travel to Toronto, Canada for the International AIDS Conference in 2006 where he got to participate in civil disobedience on a global scale. Shortly after, he was hired as the Development Director of AIDS Project RI (APRI) for almost 3 years, where he rebuilt the development efforts from the bottom up. He then became acquainted with The Fund for Community Progress (The Fund) a nonprofit federation that raises money for 26 grassroots nonprofit organizations and served on the board at first as a Member Agency Representative and then as a At-Large board member. At one point Stephen was the only administrator of APRI and served as the face of the organization in the community. As Stephen grew closer to the clients of APRI he decided to take on a very controversial issue of medical marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions and was instrumental in the passing of the Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act, eventually serving as the Executive Director of the RI Patient Advocacy Coalition in 2009, the leading force in the medical marijuana movement in RI and the east coast. In 2011 Stephen left the board of The Fund and came on staff full-time as the Development Associate taking the lead in fundraising, social marketing efforts to raise unrestricted funds for member agencies and sat on the Events Committee. Also in 2011, Stephen became the first ever titleholder, Mr. Boston Bear 2011. In this role he helped to raise over $5,750 in cash and toys for homeless teens and children born with HIV/AIDS during the 2011 holiday season and $8,200 during 2012. His first signature event, the Teddy Bear Ball Toy Drive was held in two locations; one in Boston and one in Providence and last year expanded to 3 cities, welcoming Worchester into the fold. Stephen currently lives on the East Side of Providence and works for Providence Community Action rebuilding the infrastructure as the Office Manager while still working part-time at The Fund and will eventually be voted back onto The Fund board as an At Large Board member later this year.
Stephen Larbi, Team Leader, City Year Rhode Island
Stephen Larbi is a 24 year-old Team Leader for City Year Rhode Island. In June of 2012 Stephen was the recipient of City Year’s “Greatness Award” for outstanding service and leadership. Selected amongst his peers for his ability to lead a team of 8 corps members, improve relationships between City Year and school administration, and for direct service working with the students of Gilbert Stuart Middle School. As a Pawtucket, RI native, Stephen truly understands the need of positive role models in urban communities. Thus, he was a large contributor to the founding of a University of Rhode Island based organization B.O.N.D (Brothers On a New Direction). B.O.N.D aims to provide a network of support for minority males on campus while providing service to the communities they derived from. He served as the first head of community service and mentoring chair and held on to that title for three years. In his senior year he became the 2nd President of B.O.N.D and was the recipient of U.R.I’s Martin Luther King Jr. award for leadership and commitment to the university community. Through B.O.N.D as well as City Year, Stephen has organized over 40 community service events that served the youth of urban communities in Rhode Island. Stephen’s focus is on providing real life examples for troubled youth so that they may observe individuals that have overcome their adversity and found a path towards success regardless of their circumstances. His latest endeavor, the “M.A.D.E (Mentoring Attitude Direction Education) Program,” works towards connecting high school students with college students that they can relate to. It provides teenagers an outlet to seek advice and help with whatever they need. Stephen aspires to start his own non-profit organization focused on college access, mentoring and alternative education. Stephen will make a difference in his own community.
Jane McIntyre, Educations Program Coordinator, AmeriCorps VISTA-NWBRV
Janne McIntyre, is the Education Programs Coordinator at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley where she is currently completing a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA. She is responsible for implementing a financial literacy curriculum for youth in the urban Constitution Hill neighborhood of Woonsocket while working in partnership with Navigant Credit Union to coordinate a SAFE college savings account for youth in the NeighborWorks BRV Youth RAP program. Jane serves as facilitator of the Woonsocket After School Coalition and is an active member of Woonsocket’s Innovative Solutions for Education. Prior to relocating to Rhode Island, Jane interned at the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence where she focused on survivor advocacy and assault policy on College and University Campuses in the state of Ohio. She is passionate about working to reverse the rapid growth of mass incarceration in the United States and addressing the dire implications of the United States Criminal Justice system as it pertains to institutionalized racial, class, and gender oppression. Jane is a New Jersey native and in 2012 earned her B.A. in Sociology and Gender, Sexuality, Feminist Studies from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.
Miranda O’Hayer, AmeriCorps Project Director, Rhode Island Campus Compact
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 2007 Miranda O’Haye completed two years of service with the National College Advising Corps at Brown University. As a college advisor in an urban high school, Miranda helped low-income, first-generation students access higher education. With her fellow AmeriCorps members, she was able to bring much needed resources to local underserved schools and help create a college-going culture in communities of need. This experience led to working at the Community College of Rhode Island. As an Academic Advisor, Miranda assisted new and returning students in developing degree plans and transferring to 4-yr colleges. Throughout this time she was able to maintain her academic ties by tutoring, writing and then leading tutorials for Talent Development, an alternative admissions program for disadvantaged students at URI. Currently, Miranda is an AmeriCorps Project Director with RI Campus Compact, a non-profit dedicated to promoting community service and civic engagement in higher education. She works directly with the Scholarships for Service Program, which places 100 college students in a term of service with local non-profits in education or human services. RI Campus Compact strives to improve local communities and strengthen democracy by promoting active citizenship. Her future interests lie at the crossroads of international and higher education, including issues of literacy and bilingualism. In college Miranda was able to study abroad in Argentina as a Benjamin Gilman Scholar, beginning her love of travel and foreign languages. This spring she will be volunteering with English For Action, co-facilitating an ESOL class in Providence. Miranda considers herself an advocate for access to higher education for all learners, including new students, ELL students, veterans and adult students. Through the NLC Institute, Miranda hopes to become involved in education policy and community building.
Charon Rose is a 25-year-old lifelong resident of Rhode Island, living in Providence the majority of that time. A recent graduate of Rhode Island College with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations, Charon has held various executive board positions on a number of multicultural student organizations on campus including Harambee; the oldest student ran organization on Rhode Island College’s campus. She has been an employee of the premier specialty hospital Women & Infants for nearly a decade and a member of the New England Healthcare Employees Union, SEIU District 1199 for just as long. As a union delegate, she has learned the importance of workers’ rights and the labor movement. Additionally, through her union membership, she gained experience in local politics, policy lobbying and community organizing. She has been active in the past two election cycles as a volunteer for numerous candidates and policy campaigns, volunteer coordinator for Representative David Bennett, R.N. (D-20) and member political organizer for 1199. Charon is currently a preparing to take the Graduate Review Exam. She hopes to begin her studies for a Master of Public Policy in the spring of 2014.
Thailet Saengaloun, ESL Program Manager, Socio-Economic Development Center for Southeast Asians
Growing up in a refugee camp in Manila, Philippines and arriving to the new world of Bridgeport, Connecticut in America at the tender age of four meant that survival matured Thailet Saengaloun at a faster rate than an average child. Although Thailet was fearful and often times shy, her parents counted on her to get a good education so she could help take care of her family. Being the eldest of three daughters also meant that she had to be a great role model for her younger siblings. Being poor and living in the public housing had conditioned Thailet to work harder and become tougher. Being lazy was never an option. The language barrier was Thailet’s first great challenge. Upon entering school she learned that art can be quite helpful in communicating through imagery. Art resonated with Thailet and helped propel her to her success. Of all the directions art could have taken, teaching was a core area that felt very natural to her. Teaching, like mentoring, training or counseling, strengthens her natural ability to lead and increases her knowledge, with which she hopes to share and inspire others.