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Mission, Advisory Board, & Project Team


Learning for Life, a collaboration of the College Crusade, Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island, College Visions, and Rhode Island College, is a multi-faceted community and college partnership. Learning for Life (L4L) links students to a wide range of services, supports, and opportunities that fortify them for college success and remove any challenges and obstacles that may prevent education from remaining a priority in their lives.


Learning for Life (L4L) is a research-based, student-to-student initiative designed to seed innovation and collaboration across campus to support underrepresented students to college completion. L4L crosses campus divisions of student and academic affairs and involves partnerships with community organizations.

L4L accomplishes two main goals:

Crafting and testing a holistic, student-centered, sustainable peer-to-peer model of student support, specifically targeting and fashioning services to underrepresented students. By connecting students with academic, social, life-skill, financial, and career related support, L4L helps students to navigate a direct course to college completion.
Catalyzing a campus culture that promotes the success of all students with targeted, collaborative initiatives for students most at-risk of not persisting. On an institutional level, the project identifies, assesses and coordinatse internal and external academic and non-academic student services. The purpose is to eliminate overlap and fill-in gaps while developing a coordinated, easily accessible, and holistic network of student supports.

Guiding Principles

  • Empowering peer-peer support
  • Catalyzing new initiatives, seeding them throughout campus and fostering sustainability
  • Grounding all work in evidence-based practice and current research

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is organized to support the project as it strives for institutional change, community awareness, and connection. The Advisory Board meets quarterly to learn about project progress, as well as to provide guidance and insight into new collaborative opportunities.

The Advisory Board includes:

  • Dr. Frank D. Sánchez, President of Rhode Island College
  • Dr. Jason Meriwether, Vice President of Student Success​

Board Members

  • Ms. Lisa Rose Bucci, Teacher, Hope High School
  • Ms. Maria Carvalho, Director for Postsecondary Transition & Success, The College Crusade of RI
  • Ms. Lori DiPina, Educational Services Coordinator, RI Department of Children, Youth and Families
  • Ms. Antoinette Gomes, Director-Unity Center, Rhode Island College
  • Representative Raymond Hull, Rhode Island General Assembly
  • Ms. Kat Keenan, Deputy Director, Foster Forward
  • Mr. Simon Moore, Executive Director, College Visions
  • Dr. R. Sue Pearlmutter, Dean of School of Social Work, Rhode Island College
  • Ms. Sandra Powell, Assistant Director of the Division of Policy, Information and Communications, RI Department of Health
  • Ms. Iwona Ramian, Esq., SNAP Administrator Rhode Island Department of Human Services, RI Department of Human Services
  • Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, Physician, WSI Health Care Alliance & President of Latino Public Radio
  • Ms. Lori Sanchez, Volunteer and consultant to the data team
  • Dr. Holly Shadoian, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rhode Island College
  • Ms. Lisa Smolski, Director, Office of Research, Grants, and College Initiatives, Rhode Island College
  • Ms. Christiane Yankee, Vice President of Program Services, Goodwill Industries of RI

Project Team

The Project Team works together through the struggles and successes that come with proposing, developing and implementing a new model for providing support for access and retention for students at Rhode Island College.

The Project Team includes:

  • Dr. Lesley Bogad, Faculty – Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, Rhode Island College
  • Ms. Jenifer Giroux, Interim Associate Vice President for Professional Studies and Continuing Education, Rhode Island College
  • Ms. Antoinette Gomes, Director – The Unity Center, Rhode Island College
  • Dr. Jennifer Meade, Faculty –School of Social Work, Rhode Island College
  • Ms. Emily Rodriguez, College Success Program Director, College Visions
  • Ms. Keri Rossi-D’Entremont, Director – Disability Services Center, Rhode Island College
  • Ms. Lisa Smolski, Director – Research, Grants, and College Initiatives, Rhode Island College​

Page last updated: August 20, 2018