Our In-Residence program offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, teachers, and artists to serve in the Woonsocket community. It’s simple. We offer a very few, highly-qualified professionals – entrepreneurs, businesspeople, artists, educators, etc. – a deeply discounted apartment in exchange for 16 hours per week of community service with eligible NWBRV community programs. Residents are expected to live, work, serve, and enjoy the City of Woonsocket for a year-to-year rental agreement, eligible for renewal after an evaluation each year.
Interested in becoming a CBIR?
CBIR’s live in the Constitution Hill neighborhood of Woonsocket. Located adjacent to the City’s historic downtown and Blackstone River and just steps away from public transportation, restaurants, and other attractions, the units offer a cozy community feeling with an urban core experience.
Our Current CBIRs
It takes a special person to serve as a Community Builder-in-Residence (CBIR) – talent, motivation, and a desire to make change are all key factors to success in the program. There are six In-Residence spots available through our Community Builder-in-Residence program.
Profiles of our CBIRs:
Esther A. Cortorreal: Esther initially joined NWBRV’s team in the summers of 2012 and 2013 as an Ameriorps VISTA with the resident outreach program and the youth programs. Esther is no stranger to the community, even though she was born in the Dominican Republic. She graduated from Woonsocket High School and was the first recipient of the 2012 James W. Hinson Scholarship (known as the community scholarship in Woonsocket). She became a CBIR in February of 2017, and is currently finishing her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Social Work at Salve Regina University. After she completes her BSSW on May 2018, she will pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work to become an Oncology Social Worker. Due to her work in this organization and around the community, she understands the strengths and challenges our community faces in a day to day basis. She uses her knowledge of the community, cultures, and her social work background to better help students with their goals through academic and personal achievements. She is currently working with Connecting for Children and Families as a Family Engagement Coordinator. When Esther is not working with both organizations, she usually is cooking, traveling to new places, attending Christian church services, watching a movie or a new TV series, or engaging in mindful activities, such as adult coloring and music. Esther Cortorreal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shanikqua L. Dandy: Dandy initially joined NWBRV’s team in 2014 as a teacher’s assistant at Marshfield Commons in North Smithfield. She spent summer 2016 as a AmeriCorps VISTA member with NWBRV’s Service-Learning program while also joining the Community Builder-in-Residence team. Though Dandy has recently joined our team, she is no stranger in this community! She grew up in our after school program, leaving briefly to attended the Blackstone Valley Youth Leadership Academy and The New England Institute of Art to further her education. Due to her upbringing in this organization and around this community, she understands the need of fun, structure, stability, cultrual awareness, and positivity. Dandy is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education at the Community College of Rhode Island and increasing her knwledge of the language of Wolof to better mentor local youth. She brings her mentoring skills and learned knowledge of community awareness to ensure that our youth succeed. When Dandy is not around one of the youth sites, do not worry! She has probably taken a random day trip to learn about new towns, cities and cultures. She will be back!!! Shanikqua L. Dandy can be reached at email@example.com
Roscoe Gay: Roscoe L. Gay joined the NWBRV YRAP team in April 2014 as a Community Builder-in-Residence. In the summer of 2014 Roscoe also participated in the Americorp Summer VISTA program. Roscoe is a Boston native and has attended Berklee College of Music and is currently pursuing with undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology from Becker College. Prior to his time with NWBRV he served as a mentor for the Armor Bearer Young People Union (A.B.Y.P.U) with True Holiness church ministries and also served as a Clinical Counselor for behavioral youth with Youth Opportunities Upheld (Y.O.U. Inc.). Roscoe serves as an enrichment teacher specializing in Healthy Living and Culinary Arts. When Roscoe isn’t working with the youth, you will hear him playing drums, keyboard or baking delicious desserts. Roscoe L. Gay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nwando Ofakansi: Nwando Ofokansi joined the NWBRV team in 2014 as a Community Builder-in-Residence (CBIR). Prior to being a CBIR, Nwando served as a full-year Americorp VISTA in 2013-2014 as our Education Projects Coordinator and an AmeriCorp Summer VISTA in 2010. Nwando is a Boston College graduate with degrees in Sociology, Philosophy and African and African Diaspora Studies. Nwando’s passion for social justice, community development, youth development, and public health has been demonstrated through her positions as Coordinator of the Youth Educating about Health Team at Youth in Action, President of BC’s African Students Organization, and Health Coach at BC’s Office of Health Promotion. She currently is an Educator at the Katie Brown Educational Program and is the Site Coordinator of NWBRV’s after school program at the C3 Center. When Nwando isn’t educating the youth you can find her sipping tea and watching reruns of Sister Sister on YouTube. Nwando can be reached at email@example.com.
Nick Olsen: Nick Olsen joined NWBRV as a summer Americorps VISTA member in 2016, and in the fall decided to stay on for another year of VISTA service as well as serving as a Community Builder-in-Residence with the youth program. Nick graduated from Vassar College in 2015 with a B.A. in Film. While at Vassar, Nick held leadership roles in live music event planning, college radio, and several activist organizations. Since graduating, he has worked to share his passion for film through teaching video production to high school students at School One in Providence. As a VISTA, he works with businesses and artists to support economic development in Northern RI. When Nick isn’t working, he’s probably reading, watching a film, or trying to teach his cat some manners. Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danni Simonik: Danni was born and raised in the hills of Appalachia (that’s App-uh-latch-uh) in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and is the youngest of six children. They moved to Rhode Island in 2011, and began their career in sustainable agriculture in 2013 at Big Train Farm in Western Cranston. While there they gained a strong knowledge of the ins and outs of organic farming and a background in soil science. Since then they have worked on farms in Pennsylvania, Maine, Tennessee and Connecticut, but always seem to be drawn back to Rhode Island. Danni is passionate about restorative justice through agriculture and has a deeply held belief that farming can lead to community and cultural healing. They love bringing young people to farming and learning from them along the way. They also love wrestling with their cat, watching movies with their partner, listening to country music, cooking, and admiring old trucks. Danni can be reached at email@example.com.