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.
I was born and raised in Boston and spent over 20 years in higher education. I have worked in both academic and student affairs, with diversity, equity, and inclusion being at the focus of my work.
What do you do at NWBRV?
I am the College Ready Communities Director. In short, I oversee our youth programs! We provide before and after school care for grades K-5 at the Art Center and after school programming for 6-12th graders at the C3 Center, both of which are located in Woonsocket. We also offer programs at our newest K-5 Center located at Greenridge Commons in Burrillville.
How long have you been working with NWBRV, and how did you start working with the organization?
I was introduced to NWBRV back in 2014 when I was serving as the Assistant Director of the Intercultural Center at Bryant University. At the time I was advisor to two student organizations, the Multicultural Student Union and the International Student Organization. Both organizations were looking to give back to local communities of color and we were able to establish a short term community service activity with NWBRV.
Shortly after, I was asked to join the Board of Directors where I was honored to serve for two years. I reconnected with Margaux Morisseau by chance in October of 2019 and assumed my role November 1, 2019!
What is your proudest accomplishment during your time with NWBRV?
There have been several, but the one that stands out the most is being awarded a grant that provided funding for our students at the Art Center. With those funds we were able to host a holiday party and provide gifts to our students. One of our students was experiencing her first Christmas in the United States! Our Community Builders in Residence (CBIR’s) decorated the C3 Center and truly transformed it into a winter wonderland. The students screamed with excitement as they entered! Seeing their faces when they opened their gifts is something that I will never forget! When parents picked them up from the party they were so thankful not only for the gifts, but for the time and love we give to our students.
What inspires you to do this work?
My students! Having spent so many years in higher education, the focus was on helping underrepresented students acclimate to campus and assist with retention and graduation. Now working with students in grades K-12, I can work with our amazing staff to make sure our students are prepared for their future. My goal is that any child who participates in our youth program is fully prepared for college should they choose to attend. If they choose not to, they will be prepared to enter the work force and be a productive member of the community.
Interested in joining this inspiring program? Follow the link below to enroll your K-12 student in the College Ready Community Program at the Art Center, C3 Center, or Greenridge and become one of Monique’s well-loved students!
For more information about the program, Monique can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 401-257-6219.