Abraham Fofanah comes to the College Crusade 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 in political science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2020.
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.
Ariel Davey, a Crusade alumna, graduated from Shea High School in 2016 and from Providence College in 2020 with a degree in public and community service studies. She 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, before joining the College Crusade, worked as a counselor for the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring Support Program conducted by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
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.
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.
Erik Rossi, our mobile middle school advisor, graduated from Central High School in 2011 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in human development and family studies from the University of Rhode Island in 2015. Prior to joining our advisory staff, he served as a peer advisor at URI and as a case worker for children and teens with developmental and physical disabilities.
Karol Ramirez graduated from the Academy for Career Exploration in 2013. She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish and sociology with a minor in psychology from the University of Rhode Island in 2017. Prior to joining our advisory staff, she served as an intern at Leviton Dual Language School in Providence, assisting students and teachers in a fourth-grade Spanish classroom.
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.
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.
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 the College Crusade, 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.
Princess Garrett is a College Crusade alumna who has worked in the youth development field at a variety of local community organizations including the YMCA of Greater Providence and the Mt. Hope Learning Center for 14 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Rhode Island and is working toward her Master of Education with a concentration in activism and advocacy in education at Rhode Island College.
Sebastian Cardenas, a native of New York, earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Bard College and was a mentor at Brothers at Bard and provided academic and social emotional support, as well as guidance on the college application process, for men of color in high schools from underserved communities. He also interned at the Swearer Center at Brown University and worked with the founding organizer of the Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) Black studies program.
Shanty Pineda, a College Crusade alumna, worked for the popular Crusade Academic and Adventure Program (CAAP) 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.
Tai-Lei Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in justice, law and society from the University of Rhode Island, where she worked as a student mentor, resident assistant, and an undergraduate teaching assistant. Before joining the Crusade, she worked for Upward Bound in Boston creating cultural workshops and providing individual academic and personal counseling and support for students.
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.
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.