Abraham Fofanah comes to Onward We Learn from Community Action Partnership of Providence County, where he worked as a job development coach. He previously worked with City Year as an AmeriCorps member planning and implementing lessons to students and working as a math tutor. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2020.
Al Pari is a veteran educator with extensive experience in curriculum design and implementation, classroom instruction, assessment, experiential education, career coaching, academic advising and more. He most recently served as a math teacher, lead teacher and math department head at Paul Cuffee Upper School and as a part-time employee of Onward We Learn in a key role developing and facilitating our middle school CAAP program. He holds master’s degrees in counseling urban teaching, both from Providence College, and he earned his Bachelor of Science in management at Leslie College.
Alejandro Molina brings experience in Rhode Island’s out-of-school and extended learning opportunity community to Onward We Learn. His previous roles include serving as the deputy director of the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) and the assistant chief of planning for the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Most recently, Alejandro has served as the managing director of impact for City Year Providence.
A native of Mamaroneck, New York, Alejandro earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Oswego State University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island. In his free time, Alejandro loves spending time with his wife, Caitlin, and their two children, Milo and Ela. Alejandro supports several local and national organizations, including Paul Cuffee Charter School, Youth in Action, Nowell Academy School, and Phi Iota Alpha Latino Fraternity Inc.
Alexa Morales earned a bachelor's in communications and a minor in leadership in May 2019 from the University of Rhode Island, where she was in the Talent Development Program. She mentored fellow undergrads in the URI 101 Mentoring program and worked for the URI SNAP Outreach Program, where she helped raise awareness about benefits of food assistance for service agencies. She is a 2015 graduate of Classical High School.
Ana Almeida is responsible for guiding a cohort of students known as the Honorific Team and their families through the college search, selection, and enrollment process at selective institutions. The mission of the Honorific Team is to ensure students have the information and support needed to successfully get admitted and thrive at prestigious colleges/universities. Ana also guides the team in applying for scholarships and grants and maximizing all their financial aid resources. Previously, she served as an academic advisor for the Northfield Mount Hermon Upward Bound Program. Ana graduated from Hope High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese and Brazilian studies and political science from Brown University.
Andrew Bramson is responsible for setting overall goals and operational priorities that advance Onward We Learn's mission. He is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Board Career Pathways Advisory Committee, the RIDE Individual Learning Plan Committee, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Education and Workforce Committee, and the Central Falls School District Board of Trustees. He also serves as a board member of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, is a trustee of Temple Beth-El, and was previously on the Advisory Board for Youth in Action. Prior to joining Onward, Andrew held senior leadership positions at The Providence Plan, serving as development director, deputy director, and director of DataSpark, a cornerstone initiative of the organization that connects data and people to inform, empower, and inspire innovative decision making. He also worked as senior planner for the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission in Duluth, Minnesota. Early in his career, Andrew served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Hungary, where he taught environmental education and advised nonprofit organizations. A graduate of Leadership Rhode Island’s Class of 2015, he holds a Bachelor of Science in natural resources and environment from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of Arts in management from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.
Anthony Mam graduated from Cranston High School East in 2007. He earned a Bachelor of Science in actuarial mathematics from Bryant University in 2011 and a Master of Science in college student personnel from the University of Rhode Island in 2013. Prior to joining us as a high school advisor, Anthony worked as a staff member at the Brown Center for Students of Color at Brown University, at the Rhode Island School of Design and Roger Williams University as a residence hall director.
Antonia Urena serves as primary data entry specialist for data collected as part of our extensive program survey administration efforts. Other duties include the generation of evaluation survey reports, maintenance of advisor caseload reports, updating student records, and entry of program attendance and admissions data. She previously served as admissions assistant.
Ariel Davey graduated from Shea High School in 2016 and from Providence College in 2020 with a degree in public and community service studies. She is a College Crusade alumna and brings extensive knowledge of the students, families and communities we serve.
Ashlie Rockwood was born in Boston and graduated from Phillips Academy Andover in 2014. She then received a Bachelor of Science in public health and a minor in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2018. She moved to Providence and previously worked as a counselor for the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring Support Program conducted by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Belisa Nunez was born in the Dominican Republic, raised in Providence and graduated from Feinstein High School in 2010. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and was a college advisor through Brown University for two years before earning her master’s in education in education counseling from Providence College.
Carmen Vazquez is a College Crusade alumna and a graduate of Rhode Island College, where she earned her bachelor's degree in youth development. Carmen is passionate about helping young people reach their full potential and persevere.
Elaine De La Rosa, who was a middle school advisor here from 2015-20, returned to Onward We Learn after providing college and career counseling in the guidance departments at Evolution High School and Mount Pleasant High School for two years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in human development and family studies from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Education in professional school counseling from Providence College.
Eli Itkin, a graduate of Shea High School in Pawtucket, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Rhode Island College and previously attended Husson University in Maine. He has coached basketball and tennis, including at Shea, and brings a commitment to youth development and college access to his advising role.
Ellie Welborn comes to Onward We Learn from City Year Providence, where she worked at Delsesto Middle School for the past two years after being an AmeriCorps member and team leader. She graduated from Cameron University in her native Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in international languages and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Indonesia.
Eric Khiev earned his Bachelor of Science degree in health studies with a minor in thanatology at the University of Rhode Island in 2019 as a Talent Development scholar. Prior to joining the organization, Eric worked in roles such as residential advising, administrative/clerical work, providing behavioral therapy to neurodivergent youth and as former board member and secretary at the Providence Youth Student Movement.
Erin Twomey-Wilson oversees data and evaluation at Onward We Learn to inform development, implementation, measurement and communication about the impact of student and parent programs. Prior to joining our staff, she served as an underwriting analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield and a research analyst for the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Erin holds a Master of Applied Statistics from Penn State University, a Master of Science in physics from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, a Bachelor of Science in Earth science from Bridgewater State University and an associate degree in liberal arts from Bristol Community College. She has been a member of the American Statistical Association since 2012 and holds Graduate Statistician (Gstat) status.
Jasmine Rivas Corado graduated from Central Falls High School in 2012 and earned her Bachelor of Arts in youth development with a concentration in theater and Japanese culture and a certificate in nonprofit studies from Rhode Island College. Prior to joining us as a middle school advisor in Central Falls, Jasmine worked for Rhode Island Write on Sports and served as a Warrior Fellow at Veterans Memorial Elementary School.
Jed Foley is responsible for our data systems, which manage student and program records in support of our mission and objectives. Prior to joining our staff, he served as data manager for the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, where he supported the BrightStars Quality Rating and Improvement System for early childhood education and care providers throughout the state. Jed holds a certificate in database administration from Northeastern University and a certificate in microcomputer applications from Providence College. He is also a long-serving volunteer at The Literacy Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where he leads a weekly class in digital literacy for adults.
Jonathan Steele has a Master of Education in adult education and more than two decades of student affairs and career development experience working with first-generation students and nontraditional learners at the Community College of Rhode Island and Landmark College.
Joshua Flanagan joined Onward We Learn after nearly two years at the Rhode Island Department of Education, where he was responsible for special projects related to student and stakeholder engagement as an executive staff assistant to the commissioner. Prior to RIDE, he had been am Onward high school advisor and college success coach since 2014. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Rhode Island in 2012.
Keri Rossi-D’entremont has worked within postsecondary education in Rhode Island for over 19 years with substantial experience providing services, college advising and career counseling to students. Keri has developed and implemented successful, comprehensive statewide campaigns to recruit and support students in college including students with disabilities, first generation students and students from historically marginalized identities.
Kristen Cyr works with the leadership team and key staff to communicate the impact of the College Crusade on students and families and increase the public’s understanding of the importance of college access and success. She previously worked for 12 years at the Community College of Rhode Island, where she coordinated media, developed and implemented communications and marketing campaigns, and helped tell the stories of successful students and college programs. She transitioned to that role after a career in newspapers, primarily as founding editor of the North East Independent, an award-winning weekly newspaper. She has been an adjunct instructor in the University of Rhode Island’s journalism department since 2004. A former president of the Rhode Island Press Association, she was Rhode Island’s representative on the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District 1 Executive Council for six years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from URI.
Linda Reyes attended DelSesto Middle School and graduated from Jorge Alvarez High School in 2011. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degrees in communication and political science from the University of Rhode Island in 2015. Prior to joining our advisory staff, she worked at Chamberlain International School and with the Young Leaders Fellowship at Jorge Alvarez High School, focusing on life coaching and personal development for students.
Manny Garcia, a College Crusade alumna, attended Calcutt Middle School and graduated from Central Falls High School in 2013. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in human development and family studies, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Rhode Island in 2017. Prior to joining our staff as a middle school advisor, she worked as an advisor for our CAAP program and for Rhode Island Write on Sports. She also served as a fellow for the Central Falls School District and for the Rhode Island Secretary of State.
Marie Martin has been in accounting/finance for more than 35 years and has worked for nonprofit organizations for the last 10 years. For four years, she was the accounting assistant at Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England and previously was the bookkeeper at Amos House. In her most recent position, Marie was the bookkeeper/office manager at The Haitian Project.
Maura Perez recently graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She is bilingual and has experience with translating for young students and their families. As an undergraduate, she worked for the U.S. Census Bureau and engaged in volunteer work within her community. Maura grew up in South Providence and was the first person in her family to graduate from college.
Miosotis Alsina brings a background in education and development to her role as a family engagement educator at Onward We Learn. She is the programs outreach coordinator of the Childhood Asthma Research Programs at Rhode Island Hospital and administrative director of the Asthma Camp at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. She has been engaged in her community through broad services and providing other assistance to local groups and organizations for over 20 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in learning and development from Revans University, an associate degree in general studies from the Community College of Rhode Island, and an entrepreneurial certificate from Johnson & Wales University. Miosotis is a proud mother whose children range from elementary school through grad school.
Nakisha Meres-Gabriel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Bridgewater State University after transferring from Massasoit Community College and is pursuing her master’s in education in student affairs counseling. Prior to joining us, she provided skill development and job/vocational coaching, resume building, career searching, and life skill building for younger and transitional adult students at Anchor Academy in Middleboro, Massachusetts.
Neni Benzan was born and raised in Providence and was a Talent Development Scholar at the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in leadership, business, and human development and family studies. While at URI, Neni served as director of public relations for the Interfraternity Council, resident advisor, orientation leader, and behavior technician for children with autism. He is a College Crusade alumnus and says his drive for success stems from helping others recognize their true potential through intellectual, moral, social, and emotional development.
Ranika Reyes is responsible for managing our Middle School Success program and coordinating the work of our middle school advisors as well as overseeing the admissions process for the Crusade. She previously served as our associate director of middle school operations and as middle school advisor. Ranika has also worked for the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership as an AmeriCorps volunteer, for the RI Key Program, and for CVS corporate headquarters. A College Crusade alumna, Ranika graduated from Classical High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Rhode Island.
Ryan Durgin is responsible for all aspects of computer setup, installation, troubleshooting, service, upgrades and maintenance for the College Crusade. Prior to joining our staff, he served as IT support specialist for Neighbors Emergency Center and Optum Healthcare. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from the University of Rhode Island.
Sarah Lessard coordinates our advisory reporting system, oversees student program attendance and service data, and plays a key role in our daily communications with families and students. Previously she served on our middle school advisory team at schools in Cranston and West Warwick. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies, with a focus in family and community settings, from the University of Rhode Island. She also earned a T.E.F.L. certification from Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Spain.
Seth Larbi joined Onward We Learn from College Advising Corps, where he was a college and career advisor at Tolman High School assisting about 260 high school seniors with college applications and delivering career assistance. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana studies, with minors in political science and sociology, from Rhode Island College and is pursuing his Master of Science degree in sports management with an athletic administration concentration at Lasell University.
Shanice Goncalves earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a concentration in justice studies and international nongovernmental studies from Rhode Island College. She previously worked as volunteer coordinator at Dorcas International, where she managed supplementary volunteer workforce from corporate, religious, academic, and community partnerships such as Brown University, Providence College, Bank of America, and Hasbro. Her passion for youth and community development drives the work that she does.
Shanty Pineda, a College Crusade alumna, worked for the popular CAAP program as a mentor and program site manager for seven years before joining the staff full time as an advisor. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business management with a concentration in human resources from Rhode Island College.
Supriya Chaudhary holds a bachelor’s degree in youth development from Rhode Island College, and has spent the last three years working in community education at Gladstone Elementary School in Cranston and Esek Hopkins Middle School and Mary E. Fogarty Elementary School in Providence. In these roles, she assisted in organizing and facilitating educational plans in STEM programming to elementary-age students and advised middle school students in the LGBTQ community while supporting a safe space for self-expression.
Susan Mansolillo has extensive experience leading the finance and administrative operations for nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. For five years, she was chief financial officer for the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England and, prior to that, senior director of finance and administration for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island for 25 years. Her most recent position was chief financial officer for the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, an important partner of Onward We Learn. She is also a member of the Johnston School Committee.
Taisha DeMarco graduated from Rhode Island College with a double major in justice studies and sociology. She is bilingual and has been a translator for students. Taisha has done various volunteer work helping her community.
Tania Hurtado was assistant director of admissions for three years at Roger Williams University, where she worked closely with high school guidance counselors and conducted engaging information sessions to prospective students and their parents. She reviewed more than 1,500 applications for admissions decisions each year. Tania also brings strong coordination, event planning and outreach skills from her work as community development manager for the American Cancer Society, where she mentored more than 3,000 college student volunteers and managed six annual Relay for Life events. She completed a Master of Science in leadership at Roger Williams University and is fluent in Spanish.
Tempie Thompson has many years of experience working in the local philanthropic community, most recently as regional director (New England) for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, a national organization that helps children in Latin America and the Caribbean overcome poverty and become leaders in their own communities through education and community development projects. She also served as vice president for development, marketing, and communications at the Greater Providence YMCA as well as the executive director of the Rhode Island Chapter of the Red Cross.
Tim Costa graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He spent two years working for City Year Providence assigned to Roger Williams Middle School in Providence. He initially began as an AmeriCorps member then moved up to a team leader, which shifted his responsibilities from overseeing classroom management to leading a team of his own members and serving as the liaison between City Year and school administrators.
Victor Montanez graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 2010 and earned a Bachelor of Science in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and a minor in psychology from the University of Rhode Island in 2015. He is a College Crusade alumnus and first joined our organization as a middle school advisor, serving at Esek Hopkins Middle School and Times2 Academy.
Victoria Rose has a Master of Education in higher education administration and brings valued experience in student affairs and undergraduate college admissions from Wheaton College, Mount Ida College and Fitchburg State.
Yessenia Nunez earned a Bachelor of Science in accountancy from Johnson & Wales University, a certificate in human resources management from Bryant University and is pursuing her Master of Business Administration at Bryant. She is an alumna of the College Crusade and brings 10 years of experience working with the local community to explore career and internships to the part-time family engagement educator role. She is a human resources business partner at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and previously worked at East Bay Community Action.
Yisel De Oleo is an educator and college access professional who has extensive experience designing, developing and implementing family engagement programs to support parent advocacy and college awareness for diverse, multilingual learner families.
Before joining Onward We Learn, she was the MLL/EL family engagement fellow at the Rhode Island Department of Education, where she researched, design and tested multiple approaches to engage parents in activities to support student academics and developed the state’s first multilingual/English learner Student and Family Bill of Rights.
She previously worked as assistant director of college success for the Achievement First Charter Network in Connecticut, where she started her work as a college counselor, and brings several years of college admissions experience from her time at Eastern Connecticut State University
She completed her Master of Arts in Urban Education Policy at Brown University. Yisel was born in the Dominican Republic, raised in New York and is a fluent Spanish speaker.