Hundreds of Woonsocket residents and stakeholders have signed up to be a part of the Our Neighborhoods movement. Many have chosen to become strong leaders within the community, spearheading action items from the Community Contract.
Profiles of Our Neighborhoods Leaders
Here are the profiles of just a few of our many community leaders.
- Catherine Eason: Catherine is a long-time resident and homeowner from our neighborhoods. Proudly known as “the Sergeant”, she can be found out and about the neighborhood picking up litter, gardening, and actively engaging with her neighborhood.
- Stanley Eason: Stanley is a 3rd generation resident of our neighborhoods. He is well-known in the community as Bulldog Park’s namesake and guardian. Stanley works in the neighborhood and belongs to several community groups including the Knights of Columbus and the Tyra Club.
- Michael Smith: Michael is a 4th generation resident of the neighborhood. He attends Beacon Charter High School for the Arts and is actively involved with the College Crusades, Riverzedge Arts and St. James Baptist Church. He joined the effort as a middle school student.
- Marie Saine: Marie attends Woonsocket High School and is a resident of our neighborhoods. She is a competitive cheerleader and honor student, as well as an active youth leader helping organize community events and clean ups. She joined the effort as a middle school student.
- Vimala Phongsavanh: Vimala was life-long Fairmount resident. After attending Providence College, she returned to the City to work for NWBRV. She was elected to the Woonsocket School Committee in November of 2009 as the first Asian-American to hold public office in Woonsocket. Vimala now works at the Center for Southeast Asians helping others find success in their communities.
- Al Valliere: Al is the Executive Director of the Main Street Riverfront Initiative. In this capacity, he has worked tirelessly to help rebuild the economic and cultural viability of Main Street Woonsocket. He is the owner of Nation Wide Construction Corporation and an avid cyclist.
- Wesley Cruz: Wesley is a student at Rhode Island College graduate, who works in our neighborhoods as a tutor, mentor, and enrichment teacher. He owns his own screen printing company and is a Youth Minister at Calvary Worship Center. He began working in the neighborhood as a high school student and continues now as an adult.
- Ron Celio: Ron was the principal at 5th Avenue and Kevin K. Coleman Elementary Schools during the planning process. He became part of the neighborhood in September of 2009 and immediately began working to engage families at the elementary school level. His leadership helped found the successful parent group, Parent Voices. He has since moved to a different position but the parent group at the neighborhood schools remains strong thanks to the foundation laid by Ron and his volunteers.
- Moniaek Smith: Moniaek was a high honors student at Woonsocket High School when she joined the effort as a neighborhood youth committed to improving the quality of life for herself and others around her. She served as a peer role model and youth leader coordinating events like the City’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.
- José Talavera: José has been a Veteran’s Memorial Housing resident for over 10 years. When the City’s Housing Authority proposed to demolition over half of the homes in his development, he began organizing other residents and stakeholders from all different walks of life, to meet regularly with the goals of improving communications between residents and the Housing Authority, engaging his neighbors in decision making processes, and improving overall community awareness around the public housing. Jose’s leadership has been instrumental in stalling the demolition process.