We’re so lucky at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley to have a staff of hardworking, committed team-players who work tirelessly at our mission of building affordable housing and enriching community life.
In this series, you’ll get to know the people behind the work.
Tell us about yourself.
For the past 17 years, I’ve been the Director of Community Engagement for Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley!
I have a post-graduate certificate in Community Development from Roger Williams University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Rhode Island College. I completed the Leadership Blackstone Valley program in 2005 and Bank of America’s Emerging Leaders Program in 2009.
I absolutely love to volunteer, especially if it has something to do with any of my favorite things; like urban gardening, animals, music, health or cooking! I’ve been lucky enough to have a long history of being involved in the community. In addition to being the lead organizer of the Levitt AMP Summer Concert Series, I’m a member of the MLK Community Committee, a board member of the Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative, and a member of the Woonsocket Education Department’s Health and Wellness Committee.
I’ve also served as chair of the RI Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission, the co-chair of the RI Predatory Lending Reform Coalition and was the founding director of the RI chapter of New Leaders Council.
What do you do at NWBRV?
As Director of Community Engagement, I oversee the College Ready Communities youth programs, the Millrace Kitchen and Event Space, the Accessing Home AmeriCorps Program and Resident Services. My role at NeighborWorks has allowed me to advocate and lobby for issues that affect our organization and community. I also plan community events and represent NWBRV on local, state and national boards and committees.
How long have you been working with NWBRV, and how did you start working with the organization?
I first served with the organization as a City Year AmeriCorps volunteer from 1996 to 1997! We gutted houses on Constitution Hill that were being revamped into the vibrant homes you see now. It was a dirty job but I loved to do it!
April 1, 2021 was my 17 year staff anniversary with NWBRV. I was first hired to form a coalition to advocate for affordable housing in Northern RI. NRI AHA (Affordable Homes Action) was successful in helping to pass the state’s low-moderate income housing act. I then worked with cities and towns to develop their affordable housing plans. This was the work that paved the way for NWBRV to expand outside of Woonsocket.
I soon became interested in running youth programs and worked to develop ours from a field trip program into what it is now. While the youth will always be my favorite part of my time with NWBRV, I have enjoyed taking on new challenges and building the business line into what it does today.
What is your proudest accomplishment during your time with NWBRV?
There are a few things that really stick out in my mind. When I first took on the youth programs I had a group of 6th graders who were “my kids.” When I saw them all graduate high school and leave for college, I was incredibly proud! It made the hard work and long hours worthwhile. But the kids were the ones truly responsible for their accomplishments. So I would have to say my personal greatest accomplishment would be building the programs I run at NWBRV and growing the amount of community work we do. I worked to ensure NWBRV was able to do more than build houses.
What inspires you to do this work?
Seeing people succeed. I love when a student sets a goal to go to college and then does. Or when someone’s dream evolves into a cash-producing business. I’ve been able to see individuals who have struggled financially become fiscally stable, allowing them to save for a home of their own. Over the years I have witnessed so many people set goals and meet them. Being a part of helping to coach, guide, encourage, and support people in achieving their personal goals is incredibly rewarding. There is nothing like the feeling you have in your heart when you are able to help someone every day.
In 2013, the Woonsocket Police Department named Margaux Citizen of the Year, and in 2014 NeighborWorks America honored her with the National Award for Excellence in Community Building. These well deserved honors are just two examples of the impact Margaux has had on our community.
On behalf of the entire staff at NWBRV, we would like to thank Margaux for her dedication and commitment to the community and wish her the best as she brings her talents to her new role at the Economic Progress Institute.