College Visions Annual Report, 2023

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College Visions empowers low-income and first-generation college students to achieve the promise of higher education while leading the way for innovative college planning and advising.


you for being an integral part of our remarkable journey. Here’s to 20 years of breaking barriers, instilling hope, and helping young people in our community realize their full potential.”

Dear College Visions Community,

As we embark on the celebration of our 20th anniversary, it is with great pride and gratitude that we extend our heartfelt thanks to each of you who has played a pivotal role in our incredible journey. Two decades ago, we set out on a mission to dismantle barriers to higher education, and today, we stand as a source of hope and empowerment for countless young people from underserved communities in Rhode Island.

In these past 20 years, CV has worked tirelessly to create a more equitable educational landscape where all young people in our state have the opportunity and support to achieve the dream of earning a college degree. This mission is as critical today as it was then, as a college degree continues to be a powerful determinant of one’s economic mobility and career opportunities. Our commitment to fostering access to higher education has been unwavering, and it is through the collaborative efforts of our dedicated team, supportive partners, and the communities we serve that we have been able to make a lasting impact.

This annual report is a testament to the transformative power of education and the collective achievements we celebrate together. In the report, we highlight several of the 500 amazing young people we have supported over the past 20 years, as well as some of our generous donors, volunteers, and supporters who make our work possible. We’re also excited to spotlight two recently launched initiatives that will enable CV to expand our reach and deepen our impact—our new partnership with Woonsocket High School and our Black and Latino Male Fellowship.

As we reflect on the milestones of the past two decades, we also look ahead with renewed determination and a vision for an even brighter future. Our work is not done. Together, we will continue to inspire, support, and empower the next generation of leaders in our state.

With gratitude,

20 YEARS OF achievement


College Visions is founded. Incubated by AS220, programming is piloted with 10 STUDENTS.


The first 10 College Visions Scholars enter college.


College Visions was founded in 2004 by Simon Moore, a Providence native and Brown University graduate, to address a local need for college access support. Incubated by the local community arts organization AS220, College Visions began with Simon, a desk, and ten high school students and matured within a rich environment of Providence youth empowerment and arts organizations. College Visions is deeply embedded within the communities in which we work, provides holistic support to low-income, first-gen students who want to go to college, and supports young people to achieve outstanding outcomes.

From our first 10 students, College Visions now serves more than 500 scholars each year and is celebrating our 500th college graduate!

FIRST IN THE STATE College Visions is the oldest organization in the state of Rhode Island to provide students with guidance from the admission process all the way to college graduation.


We celebrate our first college grads and the launch of the COLLEGE SUCCESS PROGRAM

the first community-based college completion initiative in Rhode Island, later named in memory of College Visions Board member Kolajo Paul Afolabi.



College Visions grads are working as bankers, educators, engineers, designers, lawyers, nurses, science researchers, social workers, and even college advisors!


College Visions serves 325 STUDENTS and celebrates 190 COLLEGE GRADUATES!

I attended the University of RI and majored in Sociology with a focus on Criminal Justice and a minor in Law, Justice, and Society. Knowing that I had a group of people at CV who wanted me to succeed only pushed me even more to graduate.”

Gleyribel Rodriguez , URI ’12, College Visions

Alumna, Former College Visions College Advisor



We move into the Mercantile Building, our beautiful, teen-friendly, technology-rich office in the heart of downtown Providence. Formal partnership with Rhode Island College established to provide support to College Visions Scholars enrolled at the college.

Since 2010, College Visions students have received a total of over $14 million in grants and scholarships for their first year of college. College Visions participants also increase their earning potential, job stability, and tax contributions by earning a degree.



College Visions Founder and Executive Director, Simon Moore, is honored at the White House as a Champion of Change.



Simon Moore steps down as Executive Director and welcomes Nick Figueroa as his successor.




College Visions begins a formal partnership with Providence Public Schools to offer college and career summer programming to PPSD students.

With support from the Bhikhaji Maneckji Fund, College Visions’ College Access Program expands to serve 11th graders, providing them with early exposure to the college application process.

College Visions alumna Tina Meetran becomes College Visions Executive Director.


College Visions welcomes Executive Director Dr. Lamont Gordon, a non-profit leader who has run college access programs in Providence, Boston, and New York City.



College Visions celebrates our 20TH ANNIVERSARY!

College Visions pilots new initiatives: the Black and Latino Male Fellowship and a new site located in Woonsocket High School.

College Visions moves into a new home at 180 Westminister Street in downtown Providence.


college visions

“ College Visions is here because first-generation families entrusted us with their children and with their aspirations, which is a profound gift and the driving force behind the work.”

I’m overjoyed College Visions is celebrating 20 years. This milestone and many more are possible thanks to incredible community support. From the very beginning, College Visions was a collective effort. It’s here because AS220 took a chance on me, an inexperienced 25-year-old, and secured an Americorps VISTA position as seed funding and gave us a desk in their office. It’s here because generous youth development organizations including New Urban Arts, Youth In Action, and Youth Pride offered encouragement, extended their nonprofit know-how, and introduced us to young people. It’s here because individuals and institutions stepped up again and again to provide the resources to grow. And, most importantly, College Visions is here because first-generation families entrusted us with their children and with their aspirations, which is a profound gift and the driving force behind the work.

Campus Tour Family Financial Aid Workshop Simon with CV alum Ayellor Karbah, Guilford College Class of 2017. RIGHT: CV has developed highly effective student programs that meet students where they are and provide information, resources, individual mentorship, and strong peer cohorts. These images feature CV program highlights.
Care Package Packing Day
CV Summer Prep Family Open House
College Campus Visit
Interview Prep Day CSP College Access Workshop
1-on-1 Advising
College Info Session Advisor Visit to URI

community partners

For twenty years and counting, College Visions has empowered first-generation-tocollege students to reach their college goals and succeed in the classroom and beyond. I’m proud to partner with CV on efforts to open the doors of higher education to more deserving students, strengthen support networks to help students thrive, and enrich the first-generation college student experience.”

For more than two decades, College Visions has successfully worked to break down barriers and create a successful route to higher education for first-generation college students in Rhode Island. This incredible initiative aligns directly with POC’s mission to develop unique educational opportunities for those communities with the greatest need in Rhode Island while creating a pathway to future success. We applaud College Visions’ critical work and congratulate them as they will celebrate their 500th graduate in 2024.”

The Rhode Island Foundation has partnered with and supported College Visions throughout its twenty-year existence—the oldest organization in our state that guides students from the admission process all the way to college graduation. Your work has been transformative, particularly in lowincome minority communities, bringing equitable access to higher-education opportunities to historically underserved Rhode Islanders. Since your founding in 2004, you have helped 500 young adults graduate from college, who are now working as educators and engineers, nurses and lawyers, bankers and scientists. We are so proud of your accomplishments.”


“The Champlin Foundation is a proud partner of College Visions. Supporting the educational dreams of low-income, first-generation Rhode Island youth is an investment in this generation and generations to come. Congratulations to College Visions for two decades of outstanding work in our shared communities.”

“ Providence Public Schools proudly celebrates our impactful partnership with College Visions. Together, we’ve empowered students on a journey to become first-generation college-bound individuals, breaking down barriers and creating pathways to success. Congratulations on two decades of transformative work. College Visions continues to be a beacon of hope, aligning with Providence Public Schools’ mission to provide academic opportunities and create pathways to success for communities in need. As they approach their 500th graduate in 2024, we applaud their unwavering commitment to advancing equal access to higher education.”

“ College Visions is a pillar of the Providence community. For twenty years this initiative has helped our students develop fundamental skills and reduced barriers to make applying for colleges accessible and achievable. I am proud to partner with College Visions to ensure that Providence students have the resources and support they need to actively plan for the next stage of their education. Through this important work, our students see college not just as a dream, but as a realistic, accessible goal.”


20 YEARS OF alumni success

More than 500 College Visions alumni are now lifting up our communities as leaders, volunteers, and professionals in a wide range of fields.

USING HER TALENTS TO CREATE career pathways for RI youth


Classical High School, 2007


Northeastern University, 2012 Ujima Scholars Program


BS in Psychology, Latin American and Caribbean Studies


Director of Youth Career Readiness Programs, Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board

Member of Leadership Rhode Island’s Upsilon Class of 2024

I joined CV because I knew I needed the support that my guidance counselor couldn’t give me at the time. I wanted to be sure that there were caring adults that could walk me and my mom through the process.”

Julissa Disu

Julissa Disu has spent her career working to empower and create opportunities for youth. Since 2021, she has served as Director of Youth Career Readiness Programs at the Rhode Island Governor’s Workforce Board. In this role, she helps manage multiple programs and millions of dollars in state and federal funding aimed at providing career pathways to young people from underserved communities in our state.

Years before Julissa assumed this role, she was a student at Classical High School looking for support with the college application process:

“I joined College Visions because I knew I needed the support that my guidance counselor couldn’t give me at the time. I wanted to be sure that there were caring adults that could walk me and my mom through the process, step by step. It felt like the right decision and I’m beyond grateful I joined.”

With College Visions’ support, Julissa was accepted to Northeastern University where she majored in Psychology. “I met incredible people at Northeastern that I am still connected with to this day. I had the opportunity to study

abroad in a country I never thought I’d visit— Cuba. It set the course for the jobs I’ve had and the network I’ve built along the way. It has also kept me humble and I’m often reminded of where I was in life and how far I’ve come.”

Reflecting on her experience and the difference College Visions can make in the lives of young people, Julissa says, “It was life-changing and the people that work at CV care about you as an individual, as a student, about your future, and they will dedicate the time to educate you and your loved ones about college and what it means for your individualized journey. You are not just another student going through College Visions’ doors—you matter.”


FROM CV SCHOLAR TO non-profit leader

Julio E. Berroa

Julio is the founder and executive director of Haus of Codec, Providence’s first youth transitional housing organization with a focus on LGBTQ+ youth. He started the nonprofit in 2021 because, as Julio explains, “there was a need in the community that had not been met. The idea of housing for this population had been discussed but no one was acting on the idea. We took it upon ourselves to make it happen.” “

Never underestimate the power first-gen students have!”


Juanita Sanchez Education Complex, 2015


Rhode Island College, 2021


BFA in Digital Media Curriculum and Photography


Founder and Executive Director, Haus of Codec

Haus of Codec currently serves over 60 youth, ages 18–24, through three housing programs— an emergency shelter, transitional housing where youth can live for up to two years, and rental assistance. Julio is looking to significantly increase the number of youth the organization serves by opening housing facilities in Warwick and Woonsocket in 2024. In addition to providing housing, Haus of Codec offers workforce development and other support to participating youth.

Julio joined College Visions as a student at Providence’s Juanita Sanchez Education Complex. “I joined,” he explains, “because I wanted to get a college education and as an immigrant, I couldn’t rely on my parents to

guide me through that type of process.” With support and guidance from CV advisors and much hard work from Julio, he was accepted to Rhode Island College. As Julio reflects on his amazing journey as a first-generation college graduate to community leader, he says, “To me being a first-generation college grad means that you have accomplished many firsts for your family’s legacy. The first to learn English, the first to attend college, the first to maybe open a bank account, so many things. Never underestimate the power first-gen students have!” In recognition of Julio’s outstanding leadership and impactful work, The Providence Journal recently included him on its “24 Rhode Islanders to Watch in 2024” list!


The power of near peer advising: CV advisors were also first-generation college students. They bring a deep understanding of the experiences of CV students, community connections, and intensive professional training to their roles.

I am grateful that today I can use my education and my career to help bridge some of those gaps I’ve noticed and lived since being a child here in Providence.”


Classical High School, 2006


Bryant University, 2011 DEGREE

BS in business management


JD Degree, Roger Williams University Law School, 2014 CURRENTLY

Attorney and Member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives


College Visions alum Jose Batista was a member of the organization’s second cohort. Upon learning about College Visions and its mission to help students like him apply to college, Jose jumped at the opportunity: “I knew I was going to college and had worked hard until that point, but did not necessarily have the direction or guidance for how to make all of the big decisions that would soon come my way. I was grateful to hear someone could offer help with all of that.”

After graduating from Classical High School, Jose attended Bryant University where he graduated with his BS in business management with a minor in sociology. He then enrolled at Roger Williams University School of Law. After beginning his legal career at the Rhode Island Public Defender, Jose went on to open his own practice in Providence. He says that his work as an attorney allows him to serve his community:

“I am happy to be able to provide legal services to underrepresented communities in Providence, especially in Spanish. Growing up, I was one of the many children who would read letters for parents and/or family members who did not read English. I would also accompany my

family to court if they did not have a translator present. I am grateful that today I can use my education and my career to help bridge some of those gaps I’ve noticed and lived since being a child here in Providence.”

Jose’s work as a champion for his community extends beyond his day job. He serves as a State Representative in the Rhode Island General Assembly, where he was first elected in 2020 to represent District 12 in South Providence. In this role, Jose has been a strong advocate for criminal justice reform and economic justice, among other issues affecting his community.

“ As a firstgeneration student, my parents looked forward to the prospect of me going to college, but we were unsure as to what that process looked like.”


E-Cubed Academy, 2017

COLLEGE College of the Holy Cross, 2021


BA in Anthropology and Global Health Studies

GRADUATE SCHOOL Brown University, PhD candidate

HER FOCUS IS ON helping the next generation

Licelot Caraballo

In the U.S., only one percent of PhD holders are Latinx/e. This daunting statistic has not deterred CV alumna Licelot Caraballo, a second year PhD candidate at Brown University, from pursuing her dream. A native of the Dominican Republic, Licelot enrolled in Brown’s doctoral program in anthropology to conduct research on a topic close to her heart: “My focus is on border markets on the Dominican-Haitian border and Black women’s labor at these sites.”

Licelot has come a long way since she joined the CV program as a high school student: “I joined CV the summer before my senior year of high school because I was worried about the college application process. As a firstgeneration student, my parents looked forward to the prospect of me going to college, but we were unsure as to what that process looked like. Upon hearing that my close friends talked about CV and the work they did with students, I decided to apply to the program.”

CV provided Licelot with key support during the college application process, as she recounts the many hours that

she and her CV advisor spent “working over college essay drafts, preparing the FAFSA, and keeping track of all the supplemental materials needed for several applications.” She also remembers that the CV office was a safe and affirming space where she felt supported and encouraged: “CV not only aids students and parents in the college application process, but also provides students with the skills to succeed by encouraging them to choose courses that they are passionate about, employ time management skills, and learn to connect with college administration and faculty to advocate for themselves.”


Student Empowerment Through College Access

For twenty years, the College Visions College Access Program (CAP) has been a critical resource for low-income, first-generation students. With a strong belief that any young person who wants to go to college should be supported, College Visions accepts students with a range of academic achievements and goals. We meet students where they are and we help them find a school that is the best fit for them.

CV takes a relational approach to college advising. CAP advisors work to build relationships with our Scholars so that we can understand their needs and they and their families trust our guidance. College Visions’ holistic, personalized model is critical given the limitations of school-based college


Mentorship is at the core of CAP as each student meets with their advisor weekly to work on college lists, prepare for interviews, and develop strong application materials.

100% earn an admissions acceptance

advising. Rhode Island has a 414:1 school counselor-to-student ratio making it challenging for students and families unfamiliar with the college application process to get the support they need.

CAP has grown significantly over the past twenty years and we continue to expand our reach and impact. In 2021, CAP, which up until this point accepted students in their senior year of high school, expanded to serve 11th graders in our junior cohort program. In 2023, CAP expanded geographically, partnering with Woonsocket High School to place a full-time CAP advisor at the school so that WHS students have direct access to CV’s college advising services.

College Access Program Components


CAP students attend workshops throughout the year that focus on a wide range of topics from college application basics, to building a college list, stress management, and creating a resume.


CAP takes students to visit campuses throughout the northeast and supports students and their families to plan individual visits to campuses. Through a partnership with Southwest Airlines students can fly free to college visits.


98% enroll immediately after high school graduation

COMPARED WITH 51% of low-income students in RI who enroll within 6 months of high school graduation.


Workshops and individual meetings keep family members involved in the process and provide financial guidance, including completing the FAFSA and comparing financial aid offers.

100% complete the FAFSA*

COMPARED WITH 45% of 12th graders in urban RI.

* FAFSA is an essential part of college affordability for low-income students.

College visits are important part of the CAP experience. CV plans group campus visits and supports students to visit out-of-state schools.

LEFT: Campus visit to URI; RIGHT: Campus visit to Bentley University.

SCHOOL E-Cubed Academy
I used to be a person who doubted my success. I’m still worried about my college applications, but now I have help.”

Oluwakemi (Kemi)

Why did you join College Visions?

I was at school and my guidance counselor asked us to come learn about College Visions. I was worried about applying to college because no one in my family has gone to college and I didn’t have anyone who could help me. When I found out that College Visions meets in person, and you get a college advisor who helps with everything I thought that would be good for me.

What has CV been like for you?

It’s been really good! I used to be a person who doubted my success. I’m still worried about my college applications, but now I have help. I’ve learned a lot about colleges and financial aid. My advisor answers all my questions.

What does being a first-generation college student mean to you?

Being a first-gen college student means creating a new history for my family. It is a new beginning and a new foundation. I’m taking new steps that I hope the next generation coming after me will continue. I have learned that by working hard, and with the proper support system, I can overcome obstacles and adapt to new environments. As a first-generation student, college excites me because I have found who I truly am, know my worth, and will make my parents proud.

What would you say to donors who give to CV and make this resource available to you?

I will say a big “thank you” because they are not only helping create a good future for America, they are also uplifting families who never had the experience of college.


Achieving the Dream of Earning a College Degree with

the Kolajo Paul Afolabi College Success Program *

When College Visions started in 2004, our focus was helping students get into college. As College Visions Scholars began enrolling, they shared with staff the challenges they faced with transitioning to and navigating college life. In response to this feedback and to research demonstrating higher degree attainment rates among low-income, first-generation students who receive support while in college, in 2009 College Visions developed the

College Success Program Components


Once scholars enroll in college, CSP advisors provide 1-on-1 advising to navigate academic, social/emotional, and financial needs. Advisors visit campus and are also available by call or text to assist with challenges and celebrate successes.


Some students enroll in community college as a first step towards earning a bachelor’s degree. Advisors help students select transferable courses and initiate the admissions process.


The CSP provides small grants to cover unexpected expenses, ensuring that students’ academic progress is not derailed by financial issues.

College Success Program (CSP) to provide Scholars with ongoing support throughout their college years. College Visions’ expanded “to and through” model works—while nationally, only 37% of low-income college students will earn a degree within six years, CV Scholars have an impressive 71% six-year graduation rate.


71% of CV students graduate within 6 years


43% of low-income students in Rhode Island of low-income, first-generation students nationally


94% of CSP students return for the 2nd year of college


64% of college students from urban Rhode Island

Less than 1% of current CSP students have taken out a private student loan.

96% of CSP students renew the FAFSA on time to ensure continued financial aid Nationally, only 80-85% of low-income first-year college students with good academic standing renew the FAFSA.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid form that determines a student’s eligibility for college-related financial assistance.

Nursing Psychology Computer Science Biology Business/Finance *The
Paul Afolabi College Success Program is named in memory of beloved son, brother, partner, friend, and CV Board Member Kolajo Paul Afolabi. At the time of his passing, Kolajo was a graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education researching educational equity.
“ Being a first-generation college student means breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations in my family.”

Why did you join College Visions?

I realized that the college process was pretty complex. I knew I wanted to go to college, but I didn’t have any support with the process. College Visions offered that support at every single step and made it much easier.

How is CV’s College Success Program helping you?

What do you most appreciate?

CV regularly reaches out to check up on how school is going, and is always ready to support whenever a problem arises. Whenever I have financial aid concerns, CV gives me resources including scholarships and monetary aid. They assist with FASFA when needed. They constantly share community resources whether volunteering, learning, career, or speaking opportunities.

What I appreciate most about CV is when our advisors come down to our University about twice a semester, it’s always a great time to wind down and catch up with them and ask for advice related to anything I am struggling with.

Are you part of any on-campus groups, internships, etc.?

I am a member and past president of the Muslim Student Association. I also have a Cyber Security Internship. I was a Resident Assistant and an E-Board member for NSBE and the Black Student Union. I did research in

Warith Balogun


E-Cubed Academy, 2017


University of Rhode Island


Computer Science


December 2023

the Computer Science department and did a self-directed study with an Africana Studies Professor, where I helped an organization in Rhode Island working to reform social studies and civics K–12 education in RI public schools.

What does being a first-generation college student mean to you?

Being a first-generation college student means breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations in my family. It comes with a sense of responsibility to make the most of this opportunity, not only for my own growth but to inspire and support others in my family who may follow in my footsteps.

What would you say to donors who are giving to College Visions and making this resource available?

I’m a Nigerian Muslim from Providence. The support that my community has received from CV has allowed us to enjoy the college process, equipped us with the resources to do well in college, and it has empowered us knowing we have support during this journey. This is what CV is doing for families in my community, and with the continuous support of the donors, CV can keep supporting underrepresented communities like mine and the many others who desperately need the support.


College Visions is expanding its career programming to support Scholars all the way from college exploration through the college-tocareer transition. This program helps Scholars explore careers and build their networks throughout their high school and college years.

College Visions Career Programming: Creating Access for CV Scholars in College-to-Career Transition

First-generation college students often do not have access to the information and networks needed to determine a career path and secure post-college employment. To support College Visions Scholars in the college-to-career transition, College Visions has begun offering career programming tailored to first-generation students, helping them build knowledge, skills, and the all-important personal networks that help young people find employment as early–career professionals.

A college degree or certificate (from an institution vetted for quality and affordability) provides one of the best paths we have to higher salaries, stable employment, high rates of home ownership, and accumulation of intergenerational wealth. College Visions helps young people fully realize the promise of a degree by supporting them from college exploration to career.

Career Programming Components


This one-day conference offers students the opportunity to explore career options, network with professionals from a variety of industries, and engage in professional development workshops. The conference is free and is open to both CV Scholars and students from the community.


College Visions’ pilot mentorship program connects CV college students with experienced professionals in their desired career fields to establish one-on-one mentorship relationships, expand students’ professional networks, and provide students with career guidance.


College Visions works with local corporations to designate paid internship spots for CV students. In addition to providing paid work experience, CV supports interns to make the most of their internships including help with goal setting, networking, and troubleshooting.

FAR LEFT: CSP student Yaleen and CV alum and volunteer Maegan Burke at the College Visions Career Summit. LEFT: CV scholars participate in a speed networking session with volunteers.

Supporting Providence High School Students to Explore Paths to College and Career

Since 2019, CV Summer Prep has offered an intensive six-week college and career exploration program to 80–100 Providence high school students in partnership with Providence Public Schools. This program supports youth to consider their options for the future, set big goals, and work toward those goals. The City of Providence’s Office of Economic Opportunity has provided weekly stipends to participating students, an important benefit for students given that many of them forgo summer employment in order to participate.

CV Prep provides academic enrichment, college and career exploration, and social/emotional learning in a positive, high-energy environment that combines classroom learning, team-building activities, and field trips. Both Rhode Island College and Rhode Island School of Design have hosted this program, giving students the opportunity to experience a college campus. Each student produces a portfolio of materials such as a resume, sample cover letter, and college essay during the program.

In the words of CV Summer Prep Students

During this program, I’ve had nothing but good experiences. When I got the letter about the program mailed to my house, I saw it as a way to not only learn about college but get paid for it. It was a two-in-one deal. I enjoyed my teachers, the activities, the food, the laughs, etc. I would definitely come again next year and I’m grateful I was given such an amazing opportunity.”

I liked how the program made me feel better around people. Now I don’t feel that shy and I got out of `my comfort zone.”


College Visions takes a relational approach to college advising. Our advisors work to build relationships with our Scholars so that we can understand their needs and they and their families trust our guidance.

leading the way

Setting a Course Forward: Powerful Initiatives in 2023

In 2023, College Visions launched powerful new initiatives, each targeting an area identified in our strategic plan as an important area of growth and transition for College Visions.

Enhancing College Access: Our New Partnership with Woonsocket High

In September 2023, College Visions joined forces with the Woonsocket Education Department and Woonsocket High School to address the pressing need for enhanced college access support in a community grappling with one of the lowest college enrollment rates in the state. This partnership marks a significant step towards breaking down barriers and ensuring that every Woonsocket student has the resources and guidance needed to pursue higher education.

To ensure that WHS students have direct access to College Visions’ college access services, we have placed a full-time college advisor at the school. From exploring college options to helping with application essays and financial aid applications, the advisor will provide personalized guidance tailored to each student’s needs and aspirations. The advisor is working in collaboration with WHS staff and faculty to coordinate our work and ensure that we are not duplicating efforts.

In addition to working one-on-one with students, College Visions plans to conduct workshops and information sessions and hopes to engage with students, parents, and WHS staff to cultivate a college-going culture within the school.

This partnership has the potential to extend its impact beyond just boosting college enrollment rates. By providing ongoing support and guidance, College Visions aims to empower Woonsocket students to make informed decisions about their academic and professional futures. The ripple effect of an increase in college degree-holding individuals within the community can lead to long-term socio-economic benefits, further strengthening the fabric of the Woonsocket community.

We would like to thank the Bhikhaji Maneckji Fund for providing the seed funding for this initiative.

Empowering Futures:

CV Launches Black and Latino Male Fellowship to Boost College Enrollment

In an effort to address the disparities in college enrollment among young Black and Latino males, College Visions launched an innovative fellowship program—the Black and Latino Male Fellowship (The Fellowship). This new initiative, made possible with funding from The Rhode Island Foundation and the Papitto Opportunity Connection, aims to increase college enrollment rates and foster supportive cohorts of Black and Latino men who uplift and guide each other towards academic success.

The Fellowship addresses the unique challenges faced by these underrepresented groups. National and local statistics consistently show lower college enrollment rates among young Black and Latino males, reflecting systemic barriers that hinder educational advancement. College Visions has taken the initiative to address this issue head-on.

This two-year college and career readiness program is designed to provide tailored support, mentorship, and resources to participants. The culturally responsive, strengths-based curriculum includes monthly learning circles and individual advising sessions. Year-one focuses on a critical examination of the Black and Latino male


experience in education and society, academic skill-building, community-building, wellness, and college exploration. In year-two, we pivot to the college application process.

The inaugural cohort consists of ten high school juniors attending Classical High School, Mt. Pleasant High School, Paul Cuffee High School, Shea High School, St. Patrick Academy, Times2 Academy, and The Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts. In addition to participating in workshops and advising sessions, the BLMF Scholars will go on visits to colleges and have the opportunity to network with Black and Latino male professionals and community leaders.

The Fellowship addresses the unique challenges faced by these underrepresented groups. National and local statistics consistently show lower college enrollment rates among young Black and Latino males, reflecting systemic barriers that hinder educational advancement.

ABOVE: CV Executive Director, Lamont Gordon, leads a workship discussion with Fellows.



GRANTS $673,934.00

FEE FOR SERVICE $95,929.00

CORPORATE $43,394.00

INDIVIDUAL $265,920.00

OTHER INCOME $1,641.00


PERSONNEL $703,964.00

PROGRAM $129,709.00

OPERATING $96,382.00

TOTAL EXPENSES $930,055.00

20 YEARS OF impact



*of which $125,000 is designated for FY24 programming

99% of CV students are first-generation college students.

82% of young people who have degreeholding parents will earn a degree, compared with only 20% for those whose parents have not attended college.

Nationally only 37% of low-income students who enroll in college will earn a degree within 6 years compared with 71% of CV students.

2004 $24,000 2024
2019 2014 $1,086,500
$744,130 $314,361 *PROJECTED










CAP students attend






Finance throughout RI




Select Colleges and Universities where CV students have earned degrees

American University

Barnard College

Bates College

Bentley University

Boston College

Boston University

Brandeis University

Brown University

Bryant University

Clark University

College of The Holy Cross

Community College of RI

Connecticut College

Denison University

Hampshire College

Harvard University

Howard University

Johnson & Wales University

Massachusetts College of Art

Morgan State University

Mount Holyoke College

Northeastern University

Providence College

Rhode Island College

Rhode Island School of Design

Roger Williams University

Smith College


66% Latino


Temple University

Tufts University

Union College

University of Pennsylvania

University of Rhode Island

University of Rochester

University of Vermont

University of Wisconsin/Madison

Vanderbilt University


5% Asian 44% Black 37% Biracial or Multiracial 1% Native American 13% White BY RACE

20 YEARS OF mission



Dean of Students Nowell Academy


Head of Lower School

Moses Brown School


Senior Director, Digital Experience

I volunteer for and wholeheartedly support College Visions, because I see myself in every student that we serve, it is personal for me!”

I was a first-generation college student in Rhode Island without a clue as to what I was doing and with no place to go for guidance. I understood the importance of formal education because it was ingrained in me early on. However, I had no idea how to navigate this system and how to ensure I would walk away with as little debt as possible. I did not understand that there were options for me, scholarships, and many opportunities.

Via my support to College Visions, I get to ensure that every student who comes through our doors gets the guidance and support that they need and deserve to thrive in higher education and that they understand their options and can make the best decision for them based on information and knowledge. I get to see my younger self thrive in every student we help.

College Visions Board Co-Chair

Rhode Island School of Design



Assistant Teaching Professor University of Rhode Island

LAMONT GORDON 4 Executive Director College Visions



Professional Learning Specialist

New England Basecamp


Co-Chair Director, Consumer Engagement

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island



Cameron, & Mittleman LLP


College Visions Volunteer

CARLOS THEN 10 Consultant

Mr. Then Consulting LLC

Knight Life Security

Knight Life Valet



Business Banking

Relationship Manager Bank of America


LAMONT GORDON 4 Executive Director

MOIRA HINDERER 12 Director of Development and External Relations

FERNANDO MENDES 13 Finance and Operations Manager

MONEPHIA NEMBHARD 14 Development Associate

SUSAN ANDERSON 15 Director of Programs


College Access Manager


College Access Advisor


College Access Advisor


College Success Advisor


College Access Advisor

17 2 5 10 11 15 19 3 6 12 16 20 1 4 7 8 9 13 14 18

volunteer support

Why do you choose to volunteer with CV?

BRIAN WU: I volunteer for College Visions to close the advantage gap in the college admissions process.

MARISSA GENDREAU: When I first moved back to Rhode Island, I was looking for a way to make new connections and get involved in the community. Growing up I was always fortunate enough to know that I had the resources to go to college. For others, it may not feel like it’s an option, and that was the catalyst for me get involved with College Visions. I love that College Visions helps level out the playing field. Equal access to education is important to me and that’s why I continue to volunteer.

for the personal growth and opportunities that come with higher education, and want to give back to their families and communities. They have life experiences, resilience, and points of view that will enrich their future classmates.

MARISSA: College Visions students are bright, resourceful, have diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and are worth investing in!

SANDY: As a volunteer, I find students at College Visions to be highly motivated. They are focused on the college process and are willing to work hard to accomplish this goal. Students at College Visions are also supportive of each other. There is an amazing sense of unity.

For 20 years, volunteers have supported College Visions students as they work toward big goals. CV volunteers serve as mock interviewers, pack care packages, send graduation cards, help students edit college applications, support financial aid application events, serve as career mentors, and assist with CV events.

Thank you to our generous volunteers!

SANDY RICHTER: I was a high school teacher in Providence when I first began volunteering at College Visions about 15 years ago. I was drawn to the mission of College Visions and the promise to help first-generation, low-income students through the college process. The program began in a small, simple space and it was very low-tech! Though its mission, home, and technology have grown and progressed over the years, the energy of College Visions has always remained the same: positive and inspiring. It is a place filled with hope; where all feel supported and welcome.

Based on your work with CV students, how would you describe who a CV student is?

BRIAN: The College Visions students I’ve met all have high expectations for themselves, thirst

What is a favorite memory from your time volunteering at CV?

BRIAN: I organized 30 college graduates to do 120 practice interviews with feedback with 60 students during College Visions Summer Prep in 2022. Many of the interviewers remarked afterward how rewarded and optimistic they felt and how impressive the students were. For many of the students it had been their first time in an interview, and that they now understood how interviewing was an important skill to develop.

MARISSA: I’ll never forget my first college application party. I had the opportunity to provide feedback on several college application essays. In these essays, the applicant is trying to highlight their strengths, demonstrate how their experiences have shaped them, and show the potential that they have. For some

ABOVE: Sandy Richter works with a student during a college essay workshop; RIGHT: Marissa Gendreau and Brian Wu attend the College VIsions Spring Celebration.

students, it’s hard for them to recognize their unique strengths. It meant a lot to me to be able to help them tell their story and show them how truly incredible they are.

SANDY: During our Application Parties, it is a College Visions tradition for a student to shout out when they have pushed “Submit” on their college application form. Nothing is better than watching that room full of students pause from their work and erupt in cheers of congratulations. There is a tremendous feeling of pride for what they have accomplished as individuals and also what they have achieved together.

What would you say to others who are considering volunteering at CV?

BRIAN: It’s a great feeling to know that my time as a College Visions volunteer will have a lasting impact on young people who want to grow. And I know College Visions appreciates me.

MARISSA: Do it! Even if it’s been a while since you’ve applied to college, the experiences you’ve gained in the workforce

will be very beneficial to these really deserving students. I always leave feeling like I made a difference, and I’m always inspired to do more.

SANDY: College Visions students are grateful. They are thankful for their families and the sacrifices and support that loved ones have made for them. Much of my volunteer work has been helping students edit their personal essays. When writing these vivid portraits of themselves, students will often pay homage to individuals who helped them along the way. They are incredibly grateful for their college advisors at College Visions who guide them through each step of this process with advice, resources, and constant support. They are grateful for the volunteers who help. I have never left College Visions without a sincere “thank you” from my students and a feeling of being deeply appreciated.

MARISSA GENDREAU is a Brand and Sponsorship Activation Manager at Amica Mutual Insurance Company.

SANDY RICHTER is an Educator and College Visions Board Member.

BRIAN WU is a Founder/Design Director of Inside Out Design.

Even if it’s been a while since you’ve applied to college, the experiences you’ve gained in the workforce will be very beneficial to these really deserving students. I always leave feeling like I made a difference, and I’m always inspired to do more.”

I volunteer to close the advantage gap in the college admissions process.”


Each year, CV celebrates our grads and their families as CV Scholars achieve the big milestones of high school and then college graduation.

With thanks and appreciation for our supporters



Rhode Island Foundation


United Way of Rhode Island


Lloyd G. Balfour

Foundation, Bank of America, N. A. Trustee

Bhikhaji Maneckji Fund

Panera Bread Foundation

Papitto Opportunity Connection


The Carter Fund

Matouk Family Fund


Malcolm G. Chace, Jr., Mary P. Oenslager Foundation Fund

City of Providence, Community Development Block Grant

June Rockwell Levy Foundation

Samuel M. & Ann S.

Mencoff Foundation

National College Attainment Network

Rallis Conover Family Fund

Joan & E. Paul Sorensen


Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

The Frieda Mueller Fund

Warren Alpert Foundation


Bank of America

Charitable Foundation

Citizens Community Foundation

Fidelity Investments

Ricci Family Fund


Anita L. Stafford

Charitable Lead Trust

Anonymous (2)

Bank Newport


Peter Kellner

Lyman B Brainerd Family Fund

Nordson Corporation Foundation

Ocean State Charities Trust

Robinson Mountain Trust


James Winoker


Michael Almonte

Bally’s BankRI

Barrett Family Foundation

Coastal1 Credit Union

Frederick C. Tanner Memorial Fund

Lamont Gordon & James Donahue

Harry M., Miriam C. & William C. Horton Fund, Bank of America, N. A. Trustee

John Clarke Trust, Bank of America, N. A. Trustee

Mary Dexter Chafee Fund

Mentor RI

Terry Meyer

Alix & Tom Moffatt

Deborah Obalil & Jim Olick

Clay Rockefeller & Manya Rubinstein




Michael Brosterman

Bruce J. Heim Foundation

Cameron & Mittleman

Centreville Savings Bank Charitable Foundation

Howard & Nancy Chudacoff

Kathy Demarest

Dexter Donation Fund

Sara & Jeffrey Enright

Daniel Finer

Yetunde Flicker

Carol Golden & Stuart Einhorn

Abel Hernandez

Juanita Sanchez Fund

William & Dione Kenyon

Marie Langlois

Simon Moore

James Nagelberg & Bridget Mullaney

Rebecca Murray

Pearle W. & Martin M.

Silverstein Foundation

Wells & Marguerite Pile

Janice & James Prochaska

Paula & Jeremy Sager

Dominique Taylor

Andrea Toon & Joel Cohen

Mary Brooks Wall

Samuel Zurier


Michael Allio

Mary Grace Almandrez

Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell

Jean S. Callaghan

Michael Collins

Kirtley Fisher

Lisa Guillette

Ryan Hathaway & Jason Showalter

Bill & Ann Hinderer

Josephine Imbriani

Jori Ketten

Don McClure

Tim Monroe & Cheryl Nixon

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

Grant Porter

Gary Prado

Precillia Redmond

Joanne Rich

John Rich

Liuba Ruiz

Phoebe Salten & Merrill Weingrod

Simple Pleasures

Christine Tieri

Carlton & Kathleen Tucker

Jennie Weiner

Jennifer Wood & Bob Lee

Joshua Wynn & Danika Severino Wynn


Alpha Phi Alpha

Mikaila Arthur

Carolyn Birnbaum

Jeffrey & Jessica Brier

Jessica Brown

Prudence Carter

Benjamin Concepcion

Carol Cummins

Sara Dorsch & Omar Galarraga

Matthew Fasciano

Diana Fishman & Ryan Adams

Marissa Gendreau

Marc & Susan Greenfield

Gifts made in honor of College Visions’ 20th Anniversary are denoted with italics.



Ginger & John Harkey

Jill Harrington

Todd Harris

Jason Hernandez

Moira Hinderer

Paul Hirst

Jennifer Hosmer

Tracey Jeter

Kelsey Johnson

Osvaldo Jose Marti

Michaelle Larracuente

Ivette C. Luna

Danielle Maddox

Kyle Miller

Mary & Sandy Moore

Martha Moore

Mullen Scorpio Cerilli

Kimberly J. Noble

Bill & Kaye Obalil

Joshua Rodriguez

Daniel Rodriguez & Susan Rohwer

Cicily Shaw

Jack Richter & Cassandra Stafford-Richter

Julie Steffes

Tracy Steffes

Carlos Then

John Vassalotti

Ellen Welty

Shelley Wilson

Chanda Womack


Clarice Anderes

Christina Anderson

Mirna Arevalo

Gerina Auguste

Anthony Azanon

Sofia Bahena

Regina Bain

Soumangue Basse & Amanda Regino

Glenn Bautista

Catherine Bennett

Ariana Botelho

Heather Bridges

Anne & Michael Brunson

Elizabeth Burke Bryant & Daniel Bryant

Cara Camacho

Shamika Cameron

Hannah Candelaria

Jill & Bill Caskey

Debbie Catone

Keith Catone & Dulari Tahbildar

Bill & Debbie Catone

Raul Cervantes

Gordon Chambers

Mary & John Cloud

Michael Czaplicki

Joanne Debrah

Gigi DiBello

Martha Dineen Wales & Ralph Wales

Rosemary Donahue

John Eng-Wong

Sandra Enos

Mary-Beth Fafard

Joseph & Roberta Fisler

Suzanne Fortier

Elizabeth Fradin

Daniel Friel & Kacie DeLuca

Jeseka Fuller

Allan Fung

Jim Gannaway

Juan German

Dezeree Hodish

Mary & Bill Hollinshead

Jill Holloway

Barbara Hurst

Ben-Oni Jean-Pierre

Dermerkersal Karbah

Rebecca Kessler

Jaretta Konneh

Andrew Koziol

Linda Kushner

Richard & Karen Lambe

Mark Lambert

Richard & Judith Lappin

Kim Lee

Dan Lewis & Jan Fleischner

Samson Lim

Andre Manar

Thomasine & Jeffrey Manickas

George Evans Marley

Adrienne Marshall

Carla Martin

Kira Mead

Bevin Murphy

Monephia Nembhard

Roger Nozaki

Jacob Paul

Lorine Pendleton

Rachel Peterson

Julissa Disu

Ellen Polansky

Dwayne Rawlings

Jennifer Recinos

Hillary Reser

Laura Robinson

Henry Rodriguez

Gleyribel Rodriguez

Brenda Rosario

Bill & Sandi Rosen

Matthew & Rachel Rufo

Marcia Russell

Joseph Santarelli

Don Schim

Daniel Schleifer & Johanna Walzak

Jo-Ann Schofield

Peggy Sharpe

Anthony Simon

Paula Smith

Annette Smith

Susan Smulyan

Chris Soto

Jennifer Suh

Julie Tang

Joseph & Brownsyne

Tucker Edmonds

Catherine Tyler

Cindy Umanzor

Samani Villella

Angus Walker

Jennifer Wichman

Imeh Williams

Brian Wu & Anne-Marie Fink

Edmicelly Xavier

Chinlin Yang

Myrth York & David B. Green

Seth & Tonya Zimring

Lauren Zurier

Cadoret Global

UP TO $99

Adebowale Ajayi

Byron Alex

Susan Anderson

Jasmine Arnold

Kate Aubin & Josh Catone

Lisbeth Avalos-Irving

Anne C Aycock

Christina Grace

Adam Badeau

Jenny Bautista-Revreby

Robert Bedick & Marsha Miller

Lindsay Branca


Adam Bright

Gretchen Brion-Meisels

Eddy Cantor

Nancy Carriuolo

April Champion

Peter Chung

Marjorie Cohen

Carson Colmore

Alan Comello

Jill Davidson

Doris De Los Santos

Rachel Dewey

Dariel DT Henry

Shauna Duffy

Alice Dymally

Metta Earl Peace

Rodney Elliot

Ted Famiglietti

Jay Farias

Ali Field

Nicanor Figueroa

Maritza Gomez

David Good

John Greene

Marc & Hedwige


Jessica Hopkins

Scott Houle & Erika DeVargas

Tami Hughes

SeeTheGaps, Inc.

Celeste Jacobs

Dionna Jenkins

David C-H Johnston

Tyler Joseph

Tamara Kaplan

Ayellor Karbah

Dwayne Keys

Rachel & Carlos Lane

Rachelle Laurent

Perri Leviss

Rachel Levy

Catherine Lewis

Robert Love

Keith Lowey

Doreen Maroney

Onelissa Martinez

Tina Meetran

Rachel Micah-Jones

Becca Miller

Jocelyn Mitchell

Oluwatomini Molokwu

LaTanya Monteiro

Kacee Montgomery

Darwin Morales

Jessica Moulder

Nwando Ofokansi

Luckson Omoaregba

Masha Paul

Fatima Paye

Carina Perez Nunez

Manisha Prudent

Scott Raker

Lyanh Ramirez

Damari Nerehida Recillas

Victoria Restler

Julio Reyes

Nancy Riley

Erin Romero

John Rossheim

Margaret Rousseau

David & Nancy Russell

Jennifer Santos

Gretchen Schmelzer

Daniel Siefert

Evelyn Soto

Kat Sou

Owen Stearns

Mary & Jay Steinberg

Greg Stiener

Prospero Suazo

Mark Suchman

Nilanda Sutoummalee

Ivan Tan

Jill Teeters

Ruth Touze

Rutza Touze

Reginald Tucker

Sabrina Uribe Ruggiero

Wendy Vedrine

Brian Velasquez

Wendy Wallace

Janice Weisfeld & Francis Haines

Melanie Wong

Erin Wright-Gandhi

Leslie & Michael Zimring

twenty years of service! Through
empowerment, and persistence they have continued a tradition of successfully breaking down barriers and thereby creating equitable access to higher education for lowincome and first-generation students.”
Coastal1 Credit Union congratulates College Visions
Jason Hernandez, Vice President, Community Outreach at Coastal1 Credit Union
YOU TO MATOUK for the generous donation of dorm essentials to students in CV’s Class of 2023.

One-on-One mentorships are at the heart of the College Access Program. CV 12th graders meet weekly with their advisors. Scholars receive individualized help with their college applications and build connections that will support them all the way to college graduation.

Tickets available at or scan the QR code 20th Anniversary Spring Celebration Join us as we celebrate 20 Years of College Visions Thursday, May 9th, 2024 6:00-9:00 PM at The Waterfire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02908
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