Jonathan VallecillaPawtucket YMCA, Membership AssociateMore
Jonathan Vallecilla is the son of a single mother who came to the US when he was 4 years old. Throughout his life, he saw his mother work hard for the American Dream. He has worked at the Pawtucket YMCA for 3 years and drives for Uber outside of his full-time employment.
In 2018, Jonathan graduated from Rhode Island College with a degree in Communication. He is currently studying for the LSAT and hopes to gain admission into a Boston law school. He aspires to practice public interest law in the future.Less
Matthew James GilmeteEvergreen Center, Head TeacherMore
Matthew James Gilmete was raised in East Providence, Rhode Island for the majority of his adolescent life and currently lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He has a B.A. in Business Management with a Double Minor in African American Literature and Sociology from the University of Rhode Island, the class of 2010. He has a strong background in working with the youth from Providence, Pawtucket, and East Providence.
Matthew James Gilmete currently serves as A Special Education Teacher at the Evergreen Center while he is working towards his Masters in Education, Students with Moderate Disabilities Grades 5-12, that he will achieve in May 2019 from Cambridge College. When Matthew is away from his career, he's passionately working with the youth of the city of Pawtucket as a Head Football Coach/Vice President of the Oakwood Raiders. He loves giving back to his community and most importantly teaching the youth life skills through the sport of football. He believes the wins will come but building character and being a better human comes first.Less
Andrew MaguireChristmas Tree Shops, Backroom ManagerMore
Andrew “Drew” Maguire was born August 22, 1987. He grew up in Warwick near TF Green. When the airport chose to buy and ultimately tear down his childhood home, he moved in with his then girlfriend, now wife, Beatriz. They moved from their West Warwick apartment to Pawtucket in 2012.
In Pawtucket Andrew quickly fell in love with the city taking an active role in the community. Andrew is a Big Brother with the Big Brother Big Sister program, a frequent volunteer for downtown cleanups, and most recently a candidate for City Council. Maguire believes hard work, compassion, and kindness are the building blocks for a strong community.Less
Aurielle ThomasUniversity of Rhode Island, Research Project DirectorMore
Aurielle’s professional interests span multidisciplinary research in hepatitis C care and infectious disease epidemiology. Currently, she is the Research Project Director for Rhode Island’s Project HERO, a multi-site study funded through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which is working to demonstrate effective hepatitis C care mechanisms for Rhode Island’s at-risk population, particularly people who inject drugs (PWID). These patients face a unique set of challenges in receiving care, even with the emergence of more effective therapies such as Direct-acting Antiviral Agents (DAAs).
Aurielle is also a dedicated filmmaker and directed an educational documentary that captures the experience of navigating Hepatitis C treatment from the patient and provider perspectives in the era of DAA therapy. The documentary was featured at the American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting in November 2016.
Aurielle has a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012, where she majored in Film and Media Studies with a French minor. Previously, Aurielle has worked as a Research Associate on a multi-site phase IV protocol focused on the expansion of hepatitis C treatment through task-shifting to community-based non-specialist providers at federally qualified health centers at the National Institutes of Health. In her spare time, Aurielle enjoys yoga, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.
Cortney LimaThe College Crusade of Rhode Island, Associate Director of College AdmissionsMore
Cortney Lima was born and raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She holds a B.A in Mathematics and Education from Assumption College. As a first-generation American and the first in her family to go to college, Cortney is passionate about bridging access to higher education for low-income and first-generation students.
Cortney began her work in education at the Cross-Cultural Center at Assumption College where she supported programs for students of color across campus. Cortney took her passion for college access and diversity to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) where she worked in undergraduate admissions for four years. At WPI, Cortney played a vital role in mentoring first-generation, low-income and students of color through their college search process as well as planning and implementing initiatives to increase ethnic and gender diversity on campus. In addition, she supported programs across campus to increase the retention rate of unrepresented students. During her time in admissions, Cortney has presented at conferences supported by New England Association of Admissions Counselors on factors impacting first-generation students and the role that institutions play in providing support for their students.
After working for four years in college admissions, Cortney brought her knowledge of undergraduate admissions to the College Crusade of Rhode Island. As a Charles E. Shea High School alum, one of the College Crusade of Rhode Island partnered high schools, Cortney is dedicated to supporting students in the very community she grew up in. In the future, she hopes to get involved in education policy to guarantee that all students, regardless of their background or income, have an equal opportunity for a quality education.
Currently, Cortney is concluding her last semester at Northeastern University where she is pursuing her masters in Higher Education Administration. She spends her free time training for her black belt in Krav Maga, listening to Pod Save America and trying not to spend all her money on delicious food.Less
Diana AraujoThe Boys and Girls and Clubs of Providence, Teen Initiatives DirectorMore
Diana Araujo is a youth mentor and educator. She advocates for youth rights, education, and empowerment. For the past seven years, she has worked with high school youth including, recently arrived immigrant Latinx and students from underserved communities in New York City and Rhode Island supporting them to redefine their success.
Diana has lead grassroots efforts to create space for immigrant youth to explore post-secondary options while navigating their new home, Recently she has worked in Central Falls and Providence to create youth programming that promotes workforce development, emotional wellbeing and community building.
Her passion to make information and resources available to her community was born when she noticed the low number of Latinx accessing higher education and other social services due to lack of information. Diana is a proud Ecuayorker Latina -- a native of Ecuador and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she moved with her family four days before her 12th birthday.
Diana holds a B.A. in Politics and Hispanic Studies, with a concentration in migration from Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School University. She believes in and fights for social change and equality for all.Less
Elizabeth GuillenProvidence Children and Youth Cabinet, Implementation Project ManagerMore
Elizabeth Guillen was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States at the age of six. She initially lived in Brooklyn, NY but Rhode Island has been her home for the last eighteen years. As the first person in her family to graduate college, she currently holds a B.S. in Community Health and Wellness from Rhode Island College.
Elizabeth has over ten years of experience in community education and outreach with diverse populations. During that time she has advocated for students and parents, engaged parents to improve educational goals for students, facilitated diversity trainings and developed/implemented after-school programs for youth. She is passionate about supporting the social and emotional well-being of youth and is currently the Implementation Program Manager at the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet (CYC).
She credits many of her successes to the impactful mentors who have guided her and hopes to pay it forward. She is also committed to advocating for youth programs, building community and bridging inequity gaps. In her free time, Elizabeth volunteers in the community. She also enjoys travel, dance, eating, and photography.Less
Gretta SchaafYoung Voices, Program ManagerMore
Gretta Schaaf has lived in Providence for the last seven years (although she recently moved back in with her parents in MA to pay down some hefty student loans!). She graduated from Providence College with a B.A. in Public & Community Service Studies, minor in Political Science and a certificate in Public Administration. While at PC, Gretta served as the Program Coordinator for EXPLORE!, a college access program for ninth and tenth-grade students in Providence and Pawtucket. She also worked part-time as the Service-Learning Assistant for the Feinstein Institute for Public Service where she worked alongside the Assistant Director to cultivate reciprocal partnerships between the College and community organizations. Gretta also interned with the Providence Student Union during her senior year. In 2014, Gretta was named a Newman Civic Fellow for her deep commitment to community engagement around issues of education and justice.
Upon graduation from PC, Gretta was deeply connected to and invested in Providence youth and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA for one-year researching and developing programming to improve college access and persistence. It was here that Gretta was introduced to the non-profit Young Voices where she works full-time now as the Program Manager. Currently, Gretta designs and facilitates Young Voices’ leadership training with high school students in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. She is passionate about ensuring youth in RI have platforms to be leaders, partners and advocates for the change they believe in. She is also committed to ensuring all youth have equitable access to pursue and complete higher education and become highly successful adults and leaders.
Gretta also co-teaches a class at Providence College called Introduction to Service in Democratic Communities and works part-time at the East Side/ Mt. Hope YMCA as a Welcome Center Representative. Gretta is deeply relational and will jump at any chance to meet new people and form strong, long-lasting connections. Through NLC, Gretta is excited to work, learn and fight alongside a powerful cohort of progressive leaders in Rhode Island.Less
Jennifer Torres PerezState of Rhode Island, DCYF, Clinical Social WorkerMore
Jennifer Torres Perez is a first-generation Colombian-American who was born and raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Jennifer attended Johnson and Wales University and obtained a B.A. in Financial Management, M.B A. with a focus in Marketing and a C.A.G.S in Human Resources Management. Jennifer gained professional experience in the fields of Insurance (sales, claims, and underwriting), Retail Management and Human Resources.
In 2010, Jennifer decided to change her career path to follow her passion in helping people, more so youth and young adults. She is a true believer that the world's future is highly impacted by our youth and young adults. Jennifer accepted an AmeriCorps Volunteer at Tides Family Services as a Home Based Case Worker, working with youth and families involved in the child welfare system. She fell in love with this line of work and the Lasallian mission that she was introduced to while working at Tides Family Services. This led to Jennifer being inspired to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social work to continue growing in this field. She graduated from Boston University in 2017 with her MSW. While completing her internship at the Providence VA Medical Center, she assisted in the development of a parenting class and children’s group for Veterans and their families. Jennifer is currently working for the State of Rhode Island, Department of Children, Youth and Families as a Clinical Social Worker in the Division of Community Services and Behavioral Health.
Her goal is to learn about program development and non-profit funding. Jennifer hopes to someday open her private practice or own non-profit agency that will provide services to youth and families involved in the child welfare system.Less
Lani WillmarThe College Crusade of Rhode Island, Associate Director of College AdmissionsMore
Born and raised in Southern California, Lani has lived in Providence for the past two years. As a low-income, first-generation college student, she attended Williams College as a Questbridge scholar and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and English Literature. She was a member of the Questbridge National Alumni Advisory Board where she provided support to Questbridge alumni. Upon graduating from Williams, Lani moved to the Slovak Republic as a Fulbright Scholar where she taught English to students in the rural village of Rakovice and worked with local beekeepers. Afterward, she moved to Providence to become an admission officer for Brown University and served on the Questbridge Committee along with the Diversity Outreach Team.
Lani tailored her interest in admissions and transitioned to her current role at The College Crusade of Rhode Island where she is working to expand educational access for low-income students. As the Associate Director of College Admissions, Lani is responsible for providing support to high achieving, low-income students throughout the college search, selection, and enrollment process. She specializes in highly selective colleges and scholarships.
During her free time, Lani is a mentor at Year Up, volunteers with the elderly, and plays soccer. She loves hosting dinner potlucks with her friends and hanging out with her dog, Sugi. Lani feels blessed with her community of friends she has made in Providence and cannot wait to expand it further through the NLC family.Less
Olubunmi LewisRhode Island Department of Health, Emergency Communications CoordinatorMore
Olubunmi (‘Bunmi”) Lewis is a lifelong Rhode Island resident. Bunmi received an A.A. in Liberal Arts from the Community College of Rhode Island, and a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island as a continuing education student. Bunmi worked as an intern for NBC 10 and the Governor’s Office. Bunmi’s passion and dedication as a newsroom intern helped her to land a position as an Associate Producer. The state government internship gave Bunmi the experience to land a job in Rhode Island's highest elected office as a Policy and Communications Associate.
While serving in the Governor’s Office, Bunmi was asked to act as a liaison to the Rhode Island Department of Health during the height of an international health threat. That experience would prepare her for a subsequent role in public health communications. The time spent working for an outgoing Governor primed her to continue serving through the transition for the incoming administration. Bunmi later entered into a role in public health at the Rhode Island Department of Health where she currently works as the Emergency Communications Coordinator.
Bunmi’s media and state government experience have contributed to her well-rounded skill set and unique perspective. Working behind the scenes has highlighted the need for diversity in the public sector that shapes policies which can positively or disproportionately impact the public and the industry that produces news which can educate or misinform the public while shaping societal views. This perspective is closely tied to Bunmi’s passion for equality, inclusion, and social justice. Bunmi is pleased to work for an agency where leadership is committed to promoting health equity and addressing the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health. Bunmi joined the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists as the Scholarship Committee Co-Chair to support aspiring journalists and communications professionals who will diversify the pool of people who inform the public. Bunmi is excited to work with NLC to learn from leaders, further develop her skills, and continue to realize her potential.Less
Roberto MorenoPawtucket Housing Authority, Management AideMore
Roberto Moreno, a son of Colombian immigrants, is currently employed as a Management Aide at the Pawtucket Housing Authority, where he works to ensure that Pawtucket residents have safe and affordable housing. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a dual major in Applied Economics and Political Science. A lifelong Pawtucket resident, Roberto attended Pawtucket Public Schools throughout his entire education.
Previously, Roberto has held an internship at the office of Congressman Jim Langevin and with the Rhode Island Department of Administration. He was also a missionary for Mustard Seed Communities, where he aided at orphanages in Nicaragua for children with severe developmental disabilities. Additionally, Roberto is a product of the Boy Scouts of America, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with Troop 3 Central Falls. He later led the troop as Scoutmaster.
In 2018, Roberto announced his candidacy for Pawtucket School Committee, on the platform of ensuring quality education and equal opportunities for students whether they have a disability, come from low-income households, are minorities, or identify as LGBT, promising to serve as a voice for the underrepresented through his personal experience with disability. Roberto was victorious in the primary and general elections.
In his free time, Roberto is an avid fan of cinema, tennis, and enjoys walking his chocolate Labrador Retriever, Milo.Less
Savannah DaCruzArtist/Community ActivistMore
Savannah DaCruz is a first-generation college graduate born in Providence, RI. She currently lives in Providence as an interdisciplinary artist and resident of AS220. During summers DaCruz co-manages Austin House Inn, a historic bed and breakfast located in Newport, RI. Her creative practice includes writing poetry, performing spoken word, painting, dancing, baking, and more. Her work has been selected by the Poetry Society of America to feature on Rhode Island public transportation buses, and throughout Brown University campus coming February, 2019.
DaCruz is a passionate advocate for the arts, social justice, and college affordability. She is working to create a more expansive platform for the arts in Rhode Island, especially in black and brown communities. As a 2018 graduate of City Year AmeriCorps, DaCruz served as a Corps Council Representative and also on the Civic Engagement Committee where she helped plan local resource fairs, and outreached to the community. Commonly known for her keen ability to think outside the box, DaCruz fostered creativity in students she served by hosting a morning arts program and an after-school creative writing club. These initiatives provided students a space to collaborate and showcase their work.
DaCruz is also an alumna of Salve Regina University class of 2017 where she obtained a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Creative Writing. In her time at Salve Regina she served over 1500 hours of community service at local nonprofit organizations including Child and Family Services, and Martin Luther King Center. While on campus DaCruz established Salve Regina’s creative writing club known as Modern Ink, and was nominated vice president for two years. DaCruz's focus is on enhancing minority representation within the arts and has goals of generating greater accessibility to higher education. While attending college she was grateful to have been the recipient of many scholarships. Currently, DaCruz is establishing a scholarship fund of her own as a way to pay it forward, and benefits students she served in Providence, RI.Less
Scott HewittBlackstone Valley Community Health Care, Inc., Blackstone Valley Community Health CareMore
Scott Hewitt was born in Waterbury, Connecticut and spent time growing in California and Florida before returning to Connecticut and then moving to Rhode Island in 2011. He studied Psychology at the University of Connecticut as a first-generation college student and obtained a master’s degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut University while working as Behavior Analyst at a therapeutic boarding school.
Scott is the Community Health Team Manager at Blackstone Valley Community Health Care. He and his team help provide a holistic and person-centered approach to primary health care that extends beyond the clinic walls and into the communities of Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island by performing community outreach, identifying and addressing social determinants of health, bridging cultural and linguistic gaps between patients and health care professionals, and providing support to vulnerable patients in between office visits. Scott is also the Senior Data Analyst for the Central Falls Office on Health. He has previously worked facilitating primary care practice transformation and coordinating NIH funded research studies on substance dependence.
Scott played a key role in piloting the concept of incorporating community health workers into primary care in Rhode Island and convened the Pawtucket Multidisciplinary Team, a team of health care, social service, and civic professionals who gather regularly to communicate about and coordinate the care of local community residents. He developed an EMS Run Data Dash board that analyzes data from runs made by Central Falls EMS and displays key indicators of EMS use in Central Falls. Insights from the dashboard were used to pass state legislation to allow the Central Falls City Council to regulate liquor store hours in Central Falls in order to curb the number of EMS runs for alcohol intoxication during summer hours.
Scott’s reflections on his experiences with the impact of poverty and socially constructed divisions among the poor, from coast to coast, created a passion for social justice, economic and educational equality, health care transformation, and civic engagement. Scott enjoys reading, boxing, gardening, and attempting to surf.Less
Simi SolankeThe Law Offices of David Borts, ParalegalMore
As an immigration paralegal, Simi Solanke has assisted attorneys in the public and private sector win asylum for refugees, empower victims of gender-based violence and gang violence, helped Dreamers obtain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), saved hundreds of families from deportation, and legalized the status of even more. At the Law Offices of David Borts, a boutique immigration firm in Pawtucket, Simi specializes in complex immigration matters involving removal proceedings, consular processing, and fraud. Simi sees first-hand how people of various nationalities experience the immigration system.
Simi’s interest in immigration is both personal and professional. As a child of Nigerian immigrants, she personally understands that the immigration system is not easy to navigate. Her interests include collaborating with community organizations and working on issues that can change the socioeconomic status of immigrant communities. She feels strongly that everyone should be empowered to live their American dream.
Simi received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a concentration in Latin American Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Rhode Island College in 2012. She also received a Certificate in International Non-Governmental Organization Studies (INGOS) in 2012. Simi has focused on working with refugees and immigrants both in New England and internationally for 8 years. Simi is fluent in Spanish and her native Yoruba language.
Simi’s passion project is Nigerianreporter.com an online publication she created focused on bridging the gap between Nigerians in Nigeria and those of the Diaspora.Less
Stephanie MonizAmericorps, VolunteerMore
Stephanie Moniz published a children's book entitled Resilient Mr. Ball, it is about bouncing back from adversity. Funded through a Kickstarter, and self-published, the book is now available on Amazon. From her experiences, the ability to be resilient has been one of her many gifts. Stephanie has a son who is turning ten this year. Together they have faced the trauma of separation at the hands of a broken criminal justice system. Their story is documented in, "Tre Maison Dasan", a feature-length film that will be airing on PBS in 2019.
Stephanie and her son have also been able to travel across the country and most recently to Greece premiering the film at various festivals. At the film festivals, Stephanie participates in Q&A's and speaks on diverse panels varying from international filmmakers to male juvenile inmates at a facility in San Francisco.
Stephanie is also currently serving a year with Americorps to fulfill her passion for helping people. Being particularly passionate about nonviolent communication, she is teaching the steps and principles of nonviolence to fourth and fifth graders in Providence with the Institute for the Study and practice of Nonviolence. The curriculum is based on the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King. Stephanie credits nonviolence for helping change her trajectory by introducing her to peaceful way of life. She hopes to be able to continue to pay it forward and learn more about herself in the process. She hopes to develop her interpersonal and professional skills as well.Less
Takeru NagayoshiNew Bedford Public Schools, High school English teacherMore
Takeru Nagayoshi teaches high school AP English, writing, and research in New Bedford, MA. Having joined education through Teach For America (TFA), Takeru is interested in advocating for education policy and law through an equity lens. When not teaching, he coaches developing teachers and writes on education issues for local, state and national publications.
A recipient of the Sontag Prize Award, Takeru has piloted the research-based AP Capstone program, only fewer than 10 of which existed in Massachusetts. With over 92% of his students passing the AP Seminar course, he not only achieved the highest percentage of qualifying AP scores in his school’s history but also helped the district lead the state in the number of AP Certificates awarded (2018). Outside the classroom, he works with educators through mentorship programs and runs workshops on ELA content, class management, and instructional pedagogy. For example, as school operations manager and educator coach, Takeru has spent his summers training developing middle and high school teachers across the country. During the school year, as one of the content instructional leaders for TFA Massachusetts and an affinity space facilitator for TFA Rhode Island, Takeru has designed and facilitated dozens of professional development sessions for first and second-year teachers.
When not teaching or coaching, Takeru lends his voice to conversations on education-related policy issues, be they through his participation on panels and committees, or through op-ed writing. For example, he’s spoken at an AmeriCorps panel to discuss the implications of being an educator of color, lectured at a Brown University forum to explore the challenges of being an Asian teacher, and currently serves on the teacher advisory cabinet at the MA Department of Education. More recently, he’s put his thoughts to paper by publishing several op-eds that have gained widespread circulation on both local and national platforms. As a queer educator of color in an urban public school, Takeru believes in the importance of leveraging his unique perspectives to fight for and lead systems-wide solutions for education equity.
A native of New Jersey, Takeru has lived in Japan for 5 years and in and out of Providence for the past 8 years. He earned a BA in International Relations from Brown University and a M.Ed in Curriculum and Teaching from Boston University.
Willie BorkaiLifespan, Program CoordinatorMore
Willie Borkai is originally from Liberia, West Africa. Since relocating to the US, Willie and his family have called Providence home. Willie holds a Master’s in Public Health from Northeastern University and a B.A. in Psychology with dual minors in Anthropology/Sociology and American Studies from Roger William University.
Willie currently works as a program coordinator in Lifespan’s Workforce Development. In this role, he and his team provide job training programs to underrepresented individuals. In addition to these programs, this team prepares their participants to be exceptional employees by providing workplace readiness workshops.
Willie plans to obtain his master’s in mental health counseling to further his work in treating individuals with mental illness and educating the general population on the importance of mental illness and seeking help.
Outside of work, Willie serves on several executive boards. This includes the African Alliance of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Public Health Association, and committee member of Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board Career Pathways Advisory Committee. He also serves as a community activist and a mentor to youth.Less
Yolanda WashburnHalcyon Behavioral Association (Groden Network), Behavioral SpecialistMore
Like the legendary Phoenix who rises from the ashes to soar to even greater heights, former foster youth Yolanda Washburn refused to accept defeat when her own life spiraled downward when she was a teenager.
Rhode Island native Yolanda was raised in a single-parent household, and her mother struggled to provide for her daughter despite the parent’s own life challenges. “My mom wasn’t in a great place in her life,” Yolanda remembers, “and she bounced around from one family member’s household to another for a long time.” Yolanda’s unstable home environment began to reflect negatively on her grades, and her school took notice. Ultimately, she found herself placed in the foster care system at age 14.
“As unstable as my home life had been before foster care,” Yolanda adds, “it was nothing compared to my life in a foster home.” Feeling neglected and hopeless, without proper parental guidance, Yolanda began making poor choices. Yolanda eventually became a teen mom. Being pregnant in high school added another layer of difficulty to her life. There weren’t many pregnant students in her high school, and she fell behind her peers.
But Yolanda is a fighter. She was determined to finish high school and make a better life for herself and her infant son. As she faced aging out of the foster care system, she was at a crossroads in her life and wondered how do she would support her son, finish high school and have enough money for basic necessities like housing, food, and clothing. Young, inexperienced, and fraught with fear, Yolanda faced daunting odds that most foster youths are forced to confront and questioned how she would survive on her own at age 18.
Ultimately, Yolanda realized it didn’t really matter to whom she should cast blame; it was up to her to set her goals and move forward to achieve them. She landed an internship at one of her former foster group homes, where she helped provide young mothers, like herself, with education in care with resources from employment to education. She finally graduated from high school and, with her baby in hand, she was offered a full-time job at the group home where she once lived. It was at this job that she realized the need for former foster youth to get involved with the system and to help others achieve better outcomes than the ones she had.
The odds were against Yolanda. Aging out of the foster care system brought a new level of instability to her life. When she gave birth to her second son, Yolanda had an epiphany: she would begin to advocate on behalf of foster youths, like herself, who found themselves struggling in a world that seemed devoid of love, predictability, and stability.
Advocating on behalf of foster youth seemed only natural to Yolanda. Before long, she was sought out due to the example she set for others with her determination to overcome her past and focus on the future. Yolanda knew education was extremely important, and the years of hard work paid off in May 2018, when she earned her associate degree from the Community College of Rhode Island. The day after her graduation, Yolanda traveled to Washington, DC, to attend NFYI’s annual Shadow Day, where she would spend the day following her Member of the House of Representatives, Congressman Jim Langevin of Rhode Island’s second district.
Currently, Yolanda is enrolled at Rhode Island College to earn her bachelor degree in Psychology. She plans on giving back to children in the foster care system who may feel as hopeless and neglected as she once did. She wants to show them that anything is possible to those who believe.Less
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- Pauline Ochieng
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- Amber Clark
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- Christina Rivero
- Cristian Potter
- Curtis Pouliot-Alvarez
- David Ellison
- Jordan Seaberry
- Katiuska Perez
- Keveon Gomera
- Kyle Weinreich
- Laura Bridge
- Michael Beauregard
- Paul Tavarez
- Quadry Olalekan
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