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, business people, 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:
Eben Dente: Eben Dente came to NeighborWorks in November of 2016 after graduating from the New England Institute of Technology with a degree in Video and Art Production. His experience with youth comes from many years serving as a mentor at his church. He has considered trying to build up the community he lives in as one of his consistent lifelong goals, and so this position at the C3 Center excites him greatly. With his West African (specifically Ghanaian) heritage, Eben is happy to connect with many of the kids at the C3 Center who have similar backgrounds. He is excited to help all the students through potential struggles and be there for them during high points as a source of strong support and encouragement. Eben can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Jacques: Gregory Jacques joined the NWBRV team with great familiarity with the area, having grown up in Woonsocket. He earned an Associate Degree in Law Enforcement from the Community College of Rhode Island, and then a B.S. in Law and Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University. He contributes his experience as District Director at the Boy Scouts of America and in fund development work at the Alzheimer’s Association. Gregory has a long history of working with youth and has seen the strides made in the lives of the kids he has helped. Having worked as a CBIR already, he has witnessed the benefits of this program and values the strong relationships he has built with the youth. He hopes to use his knowledge of the students’ individual strengths and weaknesses in school and how they deal with stress to help them even more in the school year ahead. Greg can be reached at email@example.com.
Josh LeBlanc: Former site coordinator for NWBRV’s North Smithfield youth program, Josh LeBlanc brings his background in exercise as a gym/health teacher at Spurwink, RI to the team. LeBlanc received his bachelors from Wheaton College (MA) in business and is currently getting his masters in teacher leadership at the University of Southern Maine. Some of Josh’s hobbies include basketball, working out, and managing his own music business as an independent artist. He is also a master of ceremonies for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs in the Boston area. Josh is returning to the Neighborworks team with his unique perspective and revitalizing his relationships with the students that he still stays in contact with. Josh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leanna O’Brien & Javaughn Henry: Leanna came to NeighborWorks in May of 2020. She is currently a music teacher in Providence with a love of exploring different cultures through their music and creating a deep appreciation for all. She tries her best to teach/learn with her students of all ages inspiring curiosity for the world around them through music. Leanna graduated with her education degree from Western Connecticut State University where she met Javaughn Henry. Javaughn Henry is a never ending learner with a love for many different art forms. He received his degree in Audio Engeneering and continues to develop his knowledge in many different subjects including film/photography, car mechanics, financial literacy, while still having time to practice the many different woodwind instruments he plays. Both Leanna and Javaughn are ecstatic to be a part of the NeighborWorks community and look forward to building lifelong friendships with all students and mentees. Leanna can be reached email@example.com and Javaughn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nwando Ofakansi: Nwando Ofokansi first joined the NWBRV team as an AmeriCorps Summer VISTA in 2010. After graduating from Boston College with a degree in Sociology, Philosophy, and African & African Diaspora Studies, she returned to NeighborWorks as a full-year Americorps VISTA. When her VISTA term of service ended, she decided to continue her work with this organization, so in 2014 she became a Community Builder-in-Residence (CBIR). At the NeighborWorks C3 Center, she is the Adviser of the CRC’s Sure Track to College program. Through Sure Track, she mentors high school and college-aged students to prepare them for success in higher education and their future careers. Nwando’s background is in community development and public health. She is currently working on Masters degrees in Nonprofit Leadership Strategy and Social Justice & Community Organizing. In much of Nwando’s work, she uses intersectionality and critical-race feminism to unravel the impact of culture, identity, and oppression on health outcomes. She hopes to continue building healthy and successful communities, and to one day have a house full of kittens. Nwando can be reached at email@example.com.
Montana Palmer: Montana Palmer rang in the 2020 New Year as a new NWBRV team member. She has a degree in Elementary Education and Art from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. While in Vermont she also volunteered for the DREAM mentoring program that worked with youth similar to those at the C3 and Arts Center, so she feels right at home here in Woonsocket! Since graduating in 2011 she has dabbled in a number of programs and positions that make her a great fit for this position in NeighborWorks. For 10+ years she worked her way through a company planning and helping to run their multiple summer camps for youth aged 3-16 years, coordinated an afterschool program with students in grades K-7 and spearheaded the opening and growth of a successful Preschool program. She took a mini break and spent a year working at Hasbro Toys to get a taste of the corporate world, where she befriend Mr. Potato Head and collected way too many versions of Monopoly and My Little Pony horses! She is now back in the education game as an elementary Art Teacher at The Hope Academy, a Charter School on the South Side of Providence, RI and couldn’t be happier! She is hoping to bring some more art to the NeighborWorks programs and youth anywhere from daily sketching to city murals! A girl can dream! Montana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.