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Featured Alumni – Winter 2018

Nick Alves ’11

Nick Alves ’11 (William M. Davies Career Tech High) graduated from Rhode Island College in 2015 with a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in Political Science. “I chose my majors because I found a deep love for them in an introductory class,” he says. “First I discovered philosophy. I loved how it made me think critically about the world around me and taught me to analyze multiple different facets of life. Philosophy opened my mind to so many things I never knew or thought of. I gained so much knowledge from learning philosophy that ironically I came to the realization that I really don’t know much at all.”

Nick is now in his second year of earning an M.A. degree in Urban Education at Providence College. “I chose this field to better myself in my career,” he says. “I want to offer my students the best possible version of myself by continuing to educate myself and improving on my skills.” He is currently employed at Blackstone Academy Charter School, where he works as a teacher and in student/staff support. “I pretty much love everything about my job,” he says “I love being in the classroom and educating students. Just being able to get to know the students and see them grow as the school year progresses brings great joy to me. I am grateful to be allowed to make a difference in their lives.”

Nick is very thankful for his experience as a Crusader. “It’s an important part of my life,” he says. “It helped me in so many ways, such as providing me with many opportunities which my peers didn’t have. The College Crusade helped to mold me into the person I am today,” he adds. “Otherwise I would never have discovered my love and passion for teaching. They provided me with my first opportunity to work in education and introduced me to the pathway to becoming an educator.” While he was an undergrad at RIC, Nick worked for a number of years as an instructor for The College Crusade’s Ways to A’s and Saturday Cru Club programs, teaching and interacting regularly with middle school and high school Crusaders.

For him the best thing about college was the people he met and interacted with on campus. “Just being able to meet so many people who come from different backgrounds and experiences made college extremely interesting,” he says. He was also thankful for receiving a College Crusade scholarship. “The scholarship made a difference for me by relieving some of the financial burdens that come with attending college,” he says. “It also opened different paths for me to choose rather than be limited in what I decided to study.”

In his free time, Nick is very involved in his church. “I attend New Life Worship Center, which has four campuses throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts,” he says. “I love to go and volunteer my time to help out at church in any way possible. Currently I am the Head Usher at the Fall River campus, but I also volunteer at the church’s community events, which we conduct monthly to give back to our communities.”

He has this to say to Crusaders: “Take advantage of all The College Crusade has to offer! There is so much you gain from just participating in the programs, getting to know other Crusaders, and just working on bettering yourself as a student and a person. Everything they have to offer you will benefit your entire life to come!”

 

Maura Iv ’05

Maura Iv ’05 (Classical High School) earned a B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Management and minors in Communication and Environmental Science, from Bryant University in 2009. “I chose Management because I always knew I wanted to be my own boss,” she says. “I knew Communication was absolutely necessary to be successful and that it wasn’t my strong suit. I chose Environmental Science because that is where my heart is. I’ve been a tree-hugger and planet lover for as long as I can remember.”

Maura has turned her passion into a career path and is currently working as a solar energy consultant. “I help qualified homeowners go solar and get paid by their utility company to do so,” she says. “I love helping homeowners make their difference in the world through ecological preservation, shifting to a renewable source of energy, and eliminating a utility bill that was once a constant.”

For Maura, strong relationships were among the biggest gifts of her college years. “The four lifelong friends I made in college are absolutely invaluable,” she says. “They are four independent and inspiring women that taught me so much about life and myself. They push my limits and open my mind to experiences that I could have never imagined.”

She is also grateful for her experience as a member of The College Crusade. “Being a Crusader helped remind me that where you come from does not dictate where you’ll end up,” she says. “It taught me that I am not a statistic and that I am who I set my mind on to be. It taught me that when you surround yourself with like-minded people, people who are focused on positivity, progression, and advancement, you have no choice but to be and do those things in your own life.”

It helped to receive a College Crusade scholarship. “It gave me the peace of mind so I could focus on my studies,” she says. “It also raised my self-esteem and showed me that when you work hard and ask questions, people are there to help those who help themselves.”

Maura fills her free time with variety. “I work on my physical health by dancing, strength training, being outdoors, and staying active,” she says. “I work on my spiritual health by studying and volunteering at my church, the Church of God World Mission Society.”

She offers a host of thoughtful and practical tips for Crusaders just starting college. “Manage your time wisely,” she says. “Set your goals and align your schedule with your goals. Run the day or the day will run you. Utilize your free time by listening to podcasts, audiobooks, reading actual books by people who are successfully doing what you want to do. Do not waste your time – it’s the only thing you cannot buy back.”

Featured Alumni