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Tatiana Baena, Staff Assistant, Congressman David N. Cicilline, U.S House of Representatives Tatiana Baena
At the age of 8, Tatiana moved from Colombia to the United States with her family. She attended and graduated from Central Falls High School, and is a first-generation college graduate. She received an Accounting Degree from the University of Rhode Island while working full-time. Tatiana then began working at a law firm in Providence where she completed many community outreach projects. She has since moved on and is employed in the office of U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline where her responsibilities include district-wide support services for communications, constituent services, community outreach, and coordination with the Washington DC Staff. As a young professional, her passion and vocation has been rooted in community service, and it is her every intention to complete her masters and continue serving and advocating for our society.
Michael Beauregard, Principal, Perception Analysis Advisors, LLC Michael Beauregard
Michael Beauregard is Principal of Perception Analysis Advisors, LLC, a Providence, Rhode Island-based consulting firm specializing in public relations, and fund development. As Principal of the company, he oversees the strategic design and implementation of public relations and development strategies for the firm's clients. Through its first year, the company has established a reputation for consistently effective public relations and fundraising efforts for health and human service non-profit organizations.
Michael founded the firm in January, 2014. From 2012 to 2013, he worked at the management consulting firm The Rickman Group as a Government Relations Associate. In 2012, he played an instrumental role in working with legislators and policy makers to restore $9.6 million in funding to a $180 million budget line item for community services supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, after years of declining funding.
While with The Rickman Group, Michael worked with multiple non-profit organizations to design and implement public relations and fund development efforts. In June 2013, he was promoted to the position of Government Relations and Development Manager, assuming management of the company's fund development efforts. Active in the community, Michael is involved in a variety of volunteer activities. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Young Democrats of Rhode Island, previously having served as the organization's Representative to Congressional District 1.
Additionally, Michael has volunteered with the Genesis Center for their annual Food for Thought fundraiser. He has organized multiple charity fundraiser events for groups such as Adopt A Doctor and Regulate Rhode Island. Prior to working at Rickman Group, Michael received his B.A. from Vassar College, where he majored in Psychology and completed a correlate sequence in Computer Science. He is a member of the Psi Chi International Honors Society in Psychology. He is an avid tech enthusiast, and a firm believer in the potency of digital systems as a means of combating civic disengagement.
Laura Bridge, Financial/Grants Coordinator, Brown University
Laura Bridge Laura grew up in East Providence, RI and has spent her whole life living in various cities in the Ocean State. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island while working as a financial coordinator at Brown University. She has served as Treasurer of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women (RI NOW) since May 2014, as well as Treasurer of the RI NOW PAC.
She continues to volunteer for the Women's Health and Education Fund and has volunteered for the Providence Animal Rescue League and Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Laura is interested in exploring many social justice areas, but in particular, issues that affect women and those that affect animals.
Amber is a proud native of Monroe, LA. She graduated from Neville High School and was accepted on a full scholarship to Tougaloo College. There she was very active in many organizations and received many honors. She was a member of the Jackson Heart Study which allowed her the opportunity to earn a National Institutes of Health Diversity Supplement Award. Amber also served as Miss United College Fund 2007 and was inducted into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2011 and joined her class at the Warren Alpert Medical School (WAMS) of Brown University, of which she had been accepted to their Early Identification Program during her sophomore year.
During her time there, she served in multiple roles. She was the Community Service Liaison for both her chapter and Region 7 of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), a doctoring teaching fellow and a health disparities course TA. Amber also served as Miss Black Rhode Island USA 2013. Her platform was centered on combating health disparities among minority communities. At the national competition, Amber made history by being the first delegate from the state of Rhode Island to make it to the Top 15. During 2014, Amber spent the year working for Lifespan Community Health Services where she was heavily involved in extensive work that served minority communities. Her work encompassed policy, screenings and ending health disparities. She is currently completing her 3rd year at WAMS and is honored to be a part of this astounding organization. Amber's passion is advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves and helping to level the playing field for access to health. Amber plans to merge her passion of dance with her love of medicine and specialize in the field of Physiatry, also known as Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She wants to further specialize in Dance Medicine and Sports Medicine within the field.
In her spare time, Amber enjoys dance, working out, theater, reading, watching movies and baking. Amber is the youngest of three girls and is an active member of New Dimension Church. She knows that God has put her on this Earth for a purpose and is excited to see His promises fulfilled in her life, not for her benefit alone but for the benefit of others as well.
David Ellison, Staff Attorney, Committee for Public Counsel Services
David Ellison is extremely passionate about helping indigent people navigate the legal system. He loves fighting for the underdogs of society and making sure the constitutional rights of all people are protected. He is currently a public defender with the Committee for Public Counsel Services Public Defender Division in the Fall River Office. He represents clients who cannot afford a lawyer and have been charged with a crime that has a potential punishment of incarceration. Mr. Ellison received his law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, Rhode Island. While there, he was a student attorney in the Criminal Defense Clinic and represented clients in the District Court in Providence, Rhode Island. Mr. Ellison clerked for the Washington County Public Defender's Office in Greenville, Mississippi during his first year summer and received training from Gideon's Promise. He spent spring break in his second year organizing a driving record clinic at the Maryland Public Defender's office in Baltimore. Mr. Ellison interned for the Alaska Public Defender Agency in Kenai, Alaska during his second year summer and represented clients as a student attorney.
In law school, Mr. Ellison was the President of the Association for Public Interest Law. He helped organize events to bring public interest lawyers to speak at the law school. He also organized forums on the following: race relations in America after the death of Trayvon Martin; the effect of the death penalty and the Troy Davis case; and how the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence deals with violence in Rhode Island. Mr. Ellison was also a Volunteer Street Law Program Coordinator and Teacher. He taught multiple classes at his alma mater, Classical High School, on various topics of constitutional law including gender equality and racial equality. Mr. Ellison also volunteered for OpenDoors in Providence to help mentor a young male while he was in prison through his transition back into society. Prior to law school, Mr. Ellison received his B.A., cum laude, from Manhattan College in journalism and public relations. While there he was the Editor-In-Chief of Manhattan College's student-run newspaper, The Quadrangle. He was featured in the New York Times article Big Smirk on Campus.
He also received the Excellence in Journalism award from the Communications Department. Mr. Ellison graduated from Classical High School and is proud of receiving his education from kindergarten through 12th grade in the Providence Public Schools.
Aiyah Josiah-Faeduwor, College Advisor, Brown University
Aiyah Josiah-Faeduwor As a Public Policy Concentrator at Brown University, Aiyah has keenly focused on Education policies and systems. During his undergraduate years, he committed a semester to taking Graduate level courses in New York at Bank Street Graduate College of Education a school fundamentally based on the principles of Progressive Education. He was also honorably selected to participate in the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program at Carnegie Mellon.
After gaining considerable coursework and experience in both the Education and Public Policy arena, his senior year he jointly interned as a Junior Consultant and as a mayoral candidate's chief technology officer. These experiences served to culminate his experiences in education practicum and policy and allow him to practice his expertise in the field. Upon graduating in May 2013 in order to solidify his commitment to service, Aiyah devoted his first year out of school to service as an AmeriCorps member though the College Advising Corps, hosted out of Brown University's Swearer Center for Public Service. Placed at Mount Pleasant High School in Providence, he served as the school's College Adviser for a year. In August 2014 He renewed his AmeriCorps commitment for a second year and now serves at the Community College of Rhode Island Liston Campus, as the College and Transfer Adviser. Aiyah aspires to remain committed to increasing access and opportunity for at-promise youth from diverse communities. His experience in the field of College Access, Non-Profit management, Youth Empowerment and Advocacy, Politics and Public Policy have formed a well-apprised foundation for a career in service.
As a New Leaders Council Fellow, Aiyah hopes to further develop skills necessary to organize and mobilize advocates around advancing educational opportunities and access to higher education for all youth. Ultimately, Aiyah expects to invest his impact in Rhode Island, its education system and the youth whom have shaped his outlook on the power of education as a means of intellectual, personal and societal growth and mobility.
Keveon Gomera, Student, Rhode Island CollegeCurrently, Keveon Gomera is the assistant to the president at Franklin Rogers, the oldest men's clothingstore in Providence. There he mainly manages the store front, works with customers, and conducts general sales. As the assistant manager, he also is a buyer, regularly attending buying shows in Boston and New York, and does entry to moderate level bookkeeping for the store. In the future, he hopes to become a business owner in his own right and use the platform to incite change in his community. Through the clothing store, he has seen many opportunities to give back, such as holding “how to dress” presentations for work-ready programs. A Pawtucket native, Keveon Gomera was born into a single parent household. Growing up, he moved around Rhode Island, Florida and the Dominican Republic. He developed world perspective and an appreciation for other cultures, along with a strong sense of civic duty. A passionate advocate for social and economic equality he has worked and volunteered on several campaigns, local and in other states. He is graduating with an A.A. in General Studies from the Community College of Rhode Island this winter. As a student at CCRI, Keveon has been very engaged, until recently he was the student government’s director of public relations. He is working toward a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Rhode Island College.
Billy Lewis, Managing Member, Aspired Heights LLC
Billy is an entrepreneur with broad experience launching businesses with a focus on quality consumer services. He founded the real estate investing company, Aspired Heights LLC in 2013. Prior to that, he founded B & B Investment Group LLC in 2006, which had a primary function of researching mortgage notes in Rhode Island and South Florida on behalf of clients for their investment portfolios. Billy also co-founded Fix Your Credit LLC in Providence, RI in 2005 where he and his business partner provided credit repair and credit counseling services for individuals and small businesses. _ Billy holds a Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies from Providence College and Associates Degree in Business Management from the Community College of Rhode Island. While studying at the Community College of Rhode Island, Billy served as a Community Organizer. He has also served on the Advisory Committee for the Board of Governor's for Higher Education and on the Rhode Island Youth Development Academy Strategic Planning Committee.
Brett Magellan Brett Magellan recently worked as a staffer for Gina Raimondo's successful gubernatorial campaign. He is passionate about local government and policy, in particular, progressive Rhode Island community issues in education and healthcare. Brett worked for the Internal Revenue Service Exempt Organizations in Washington D.C., the division of the IRS that administers tax law governing charities, political, religious and other entities that are not required to pay federal income tax. He also interned for the Rhode Island lobbying firm Advocacy Solutions In addition to his strong commitment to Rhode Island community affairs, he is a major supporter of the arts as a catalyst that drives creativity, innovation and civic engagement.
In his spare time he plays the bass guitar, upright bass, and saxophone. He can frequently be heard performing in professional musical theater orchestras across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Brett graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and minor in Psychology from Roger Williams University.
Sara Mickelson, Education Specialist, Rhode Island Department of Education
Sara Mickelson Sara is currently an Education Specialist at the Rhode Island Department of Education working under the state's $50 million Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant. She manages projects under the grant related to professional development for key roles in early childhood education, with the end goal of ensuring children in Rhode Island are taught by the most effective and qualified teachers. Prior to coming to Rhode Island, Sara previously taught pre-kindergarten in Houston, Texas through Teach for America.
Sara is passionate about early childhood education and its role in ensuring that all children start school on equal footing. Sara grew up in the beautiful, rolling plains of North Dakota and Minnesota. She received her M.A. in Urban Education Policy from Brown University and her B.A. in English and in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota.
Victor Morente, Communications Associate for Mayor Jorge Elorza, City of Providence
Victor Morente Victor Morente was born on January 17, 1990, in Zacualpa, Quiche, Guatemala. Due to the civil war and genocide in Guatemala at the time, Victor's mother fled the country and crossed over the border in 1994. She was forced to leave Victor behind with one of his aunts because he was too young to accompany her. At the age of six, Victor finally embarked on his journey to the United States.
In the U.S, Victor grew up on the South Side of the City of Providence, one of the poorest but most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the city. He was an excellent student at a young age, who put a lot of time and effort into his schoolwork. In high school however, Victor was told that his dream of going to college would not be possible because he was an undocumented immigrant. He became disillusioned and stopped doing his schoolwork, and started going down what some may considered a bad path. For the first time in his life he was presented with an obstacle that would make it impossible for him to become the immigration attorney that he dreamed of. However, two years after graduating from high school, Victor and his family finally received a phone call from their attorney who informed that they had a court date scheduled at the Boston Immigration Court based on their immigration application.
After 16 years of waiting, Victor and his mother finally were granted legal permanent residency. He believes the struggle he went through from being an undocumented immigrant motivated him to be where he is today. Victor attended the Community College of Rhode Island part time while he was undocumented and graduated with High Honors. He then transferred to Rhode Island College after his legal situation was resolved. At Rhode Island College he majored in Political Science and Public Administration. While he attended RIC he became a member of the National Political Science Honor Society, and managed an $80,000 budget as he served as the President of the Programming Event Board on campus. As he ended his undergraduate studies at RIC, he traveled to Beijing, China as a delegate for the college at The 100K Strong Foundation Student Summit. He became the first college graduate in his family when he crossed the stage Cum Laude on May 17th, 2014. Immediately after graduating from college, Victor joined the Jorge Elorza for Mayor Campaign, as the lead Field Organizer for the South Side of Providence. As an organizer, he was able to help the former Roger Williams Law School Professor and Housing Court Judge get through a tough Primary and General Election. First they defeated the Endorsed Democrat Candidate, City Council President Michael Solomon, and then the famed Vincent "Buddy" Cianci. After the historic victories, Victor stayed on the Mayor-elect's transition staff as a coordinator for the various transition committees. Recently, he was hired as a Communications Associate in The Office of Mayor Jorge Elorza. Today, he still hopes to attend law school with the goal of one day becoming an immigration lawyer.
Just as he received assistance throughout his journey, he hopes to be able to help other immigrants toward their path to citizenship. Victor believes that everyone deserves an opportunity and help. He would have not made it to where he is today without the assistance of his mentors and friends.
Quadry Olalekan, Business Intelligence Lead, Unicom Engineering
Quadry Olalekan, is a Nigerian American that comes from a family of four. He currently resides in North Providence RI. He graduated with an MBA, MA (2013) at Salve Regina University, also holds different six-sigma belts along with project management certification, but his bachelors degree was in Software Engineering. He has more than 5yrs of professional experience in the Software Development Industry. In 2011, He co-founded Universal Dynamic Consulting Group located downtown Providence, RI, and serve as CEO/Chief Financial Officer. In his capacity as the CFO, where he lead the financial department and handle all the financial matters of the company his leadership has brought out accountability and proactivity to grow the company.
Currently he is an active member of African Alliance of Rhode Island; a nonprofit group for all African immigrants in Rhode Island.He is also a member of African Youth Development Initiative (AYDI) where he served as the Vice-President. In his position, they successfully launched the youth group and developed three programs in the summer of that year. These programs included, mentorship of high school seniors, youth dialogue on issues affecting African youth, and cultural promotion programs. Within the first year and half, AYDI's network expanded, and we held frequent youth dialogue and mentorship of high school students.
In addition to his experience at AYDI, he had the opportunity recently get involved and help raise awareness to the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa. He joined the coalition of young people eager to help raise awareness and seek support to fight Ebola in West Africa. His future goal is to establish another company in West Africa as he have always had the passion to be part of the growth and transformation that Africa is experiencing right now, economically and socially. He is also a Sigma Pi Alumni. When not working, he is your average New England sports fan. Go Celtics. But his main sport is soccer.
Katiuska Perez, Principle Policy Analyst, State of RI
I am first generation born and raised in Providence, RI. My parents moved to RI in the late 1970s for a better life. I was educated in the Providence Public School system. Completed a BA in Political Science and Economics and a MA in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island. Throughout my college career, I worked for the Office of International Education. Around 4 years ago, I began working for the City of Providence and played a number of roles including Director of Community Relations.
Curtis Pouliot-Alvarez is currently a Law Student at Roger Williams University School of Law where he is a candidate for Juris Doctor for May 2015. Curtis was born and raised in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island, attending area public schools, participating in youth sport leagues and volunteering at local community non-profits. After completing over three years of active duty in the Army, he came back to his home in Rhode Island to begin his civilian adult life. Shortly thereafter he met and married his husband, David, and began his college studies at Rhode Island College with an eye on law school.
In May, 2012, Curtis graduated from Rhode Island College, magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Political Science. Turning down admission offers to attend higher ranked law schools out-of-state, Curtis began his legal studies at Roger Williams University School of Law in his home state of Rhode Island. Curtis has shown a dedication to giving back to his community, both with legal service and volunteer work. He has provided over 1,000 hours of pro-bono legal service to the community through programs such as Street Law, an internship with a family law firm, an immigration clinic, and as a student attorney with the Federal Public Defender Office of Rhode Island.
He is currently President of the Association for Public Interest Law at RWU, serving on the group's executive board since his first year in law school.Curtis also serves as Lt. Governor of Public Interest Law for the American Bar Association, Student Division in the 1st Circuit, and is a member of the Student Bar Association's Constitution Committee at his school. A budding criminal defense attorney, Curtis will be following up his full time externship at the Federal Public Defenders Office with an internship at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Fall River Massachusetts. In this role he will be representing clients at the beginning stages of their criminal cases.
In his limited free time, Curtis enjoys being with his husband, their dog, and his extended family. Curtis can be reached at his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelynn Riel- Osorio, Coordinator, ESL Intensive Program, Rhode Island College
Shelynn Riel- Osorio Shelynn Riel-Osorio is a Rhode Island native with a passion for linguistics, teaching, and travel. She first received a Bachelor's degree in Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies in 2012, shortly after returning to earn a Master's degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL).
Immediately after receiving her M.Ed. in May of 2013, she began as an adjunct within the Educational Studies department at Rhode Island College, her alma mater. One year later, she was offered the position as Coordinator of the same ESL Intensive program, along with that of Project ExCEL (which supports incoming emergent bilingual freshman in navigating academic rhetoric and seemingly ambiguous cultural cues) and ESP (English for Specific Purposes) through the Outreach Center at Rhode Island College. Within this role, She feels fortunate to be able to utilize her inside knowledge as an instructor to better serve each diverse population of learners.
In addition to her work in higher education, Shelynn serves as a Community-Builder-In-Residence at Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley. Shelynn strives to cultivate a sense of ethnolinguistic pride amongst the student body, empowering students to expand their perspectives through sociocultural inquiry. When she is not directly working with Woonsocket youth or the Providence community, She can be found practicing yoga, reading foreign language dictionaries and writing. Within the next few years, she intends to begin a doctoral program that integrates linguistics, sociology and education.
Kemi Omisore, College Advisor Kemi Omisore was born and raised in Providence, RI and was enrolled in the Providence Public School system until College. She was certainly a product of her environment, later attaining her Bachelors degree in Social Sciences and her Masters Degree in Public Administration in one year! Providence,RI being the Creative Capitol always gave Kemi some project, activity or business venture to be immersed in. Currently, Kemi enjoys working at her church home along side her Pastors at Victory Assembly of God. She also enjoys teaching dance classes/workshops and producing Christian based dance videos that leave a nugget of hope and love for her viewers. Lastly, Kemi dedicates most of her days smiling and spreading positive vibes like Glitter!
Jordan Seaberry, Vicitim Advocate, Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence
Jordan Seaberry Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, my life is a testament to the ways that inclusion, diversity and education can change a young person's life for the better. I attended large public schools in the inner city, and didn't dare follow my dream of being an artist- for a student like me, I thought it simply was not a possibility. Through the blessing of mentorship and community leaders I took the chance to follow that dream. While pursuing my education at Rhode Island School of Design on a scholarship, I dedicated my life to building the intersections between a gift for the arts and a deep passion for the strengthening of our urban communities. I have worked as a community organizer on the city's Southside, I have taught after school programming, and worked in group homes for young men with developmental disabilities.
In my time here, I have learned of the need for our youth to be embraced by creative, safe and compassionate environments- and this is the role I hope to play in your community. It is this belief that motivates me each day to push our urban communities to dream and follow our goals.
Recently, I began working on a long-term collaboration with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence to bring together families of homicide victims, through painting portraits of their loved ones. Based on the stories, the conversations, and the political issues that brought about the loss of life, I create larger studio paintings, to be exhibited in the community. I have seen time and time again, the impact that one person can have on another person's life through advocacy, inclusion, mentorship, education and it is this deep dedication and passion that I hope to build upon during my time at NLC.
Paul Tavarez, Youth Organizer, Providence Student Union
I grew up in Providence after moving from New York with my mother and two older siblings when I was two. We moved often to different areas in the city and even did a short stint in Manville, RI. I left home for boarding school of my own volition when I was fourteen. I didn't live at home after that for another ten years. When I did return I would only stay for a season at the most and spend my time by volunteering or working for New Urban Arts. After graduating from Grinnell College I went on to teach English in China for a year and once my contract with the school was fulfilled I moved on to become an apprentice glassblower just outside of Beijing. I returned home in November of 2013 and have held various positions before becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA member.
I currently hold a youth organizer position at the Providence Student Union. I have always experimented with ways of thinking and upon reflection realize that I greatly value change and mobility. I respect and seek out those who are willing to take risks in order to achieve their goals. I'm looking forward to working and learning from and with those who aren't afraid of failure but instead embrace the opportunity to learn.
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