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Staff Bios

photograph of Learning for Life staff members

Joise Garzon, MSW, LICSW


Joise’s experience growing up in Centrals Falls, RI motivated her to become a social worker. She earned her BSW and MSW degrees at Rhode Island College where she learned about the power of therapeutic relationships, advocacy, social justice, and empowerment. After graduating, Joise focused on providing trauma informed therapeutic services to adolescent boys with behavioral difficulties. She also worked in an outpatient counseling center providing clinical services to children, families, and couples. Joise found her way back to RIC when an opportunity opened up at L4L, where she once worked as a Navigator. Since joining the L4L team, Joise has been working to spread the word about the services L4L provides, collaborating with other offices to help support students, and making connections with community resources for students. While at work, Joise enjoys connecting with students and hearing their story. When she is not working, Joise enjoys listening to and dancing salsa vieja, soaking up some vitamin D at the beach, managing her love/ hate relationship with running, and spending time with family and friends.

LaTanya Monteiro

Educational Support Coordinator

As a Preparatory Enrollment Program and Rhode Island College Alumna, she returned to her Alma Mater as part of the Learning for Life staff with the purpose of working with students much like herself as a first generation college student. LaTanya has initiated and cultivated relationships with school districts as a way to help students become aware of the supports that are available in the community and at the college level. She also works with the Central Falls School District in the RIC/Central Falls Innovation Lab, a unique PK-20 collaboration. This unique, collaboration has the potential to provide a PK-12 and post-secondary urban education model that offers a new paradigm for state and national replication. When I’m not working I love to watch football, dabble in photography, spend time with my family and friends and go dancing when I have the time. In the summer, you can find me in the ocean riding the waves.​​

Laura Coelho

Data Management Specialist

Laura Coelho is a Data Management Specialist with Learning for Life(L4L), she works to capture and document the various activities that go into supporting student and program growth. Laura believes that by documenting L4L’s various programming, interventions and resources, our team is better able to serve students. She uses data to promote the continued development of L4L’s peer mentorship model and targeted resource development. With B.A.s in History and Political Science, Laura believe that strengthening policy and growing programming and resources will increase student success both on campus and in the larger Rhode Island community.

Tina Leavitt, MSW, LCSW, CGS

Educational Support Coordinator

Tina recently graduated from Rhode Island College with her MSW, CGS. Her concentration in graduate school was Trauma Informed Care. She worked at the Groden Center for 18 years before making the transition to work here at Rhode Island College. Her passion is working with young adults in higher education. Tina enjoys attending her children’s cross country / track meets, running with her family, reading and sitting at the beach.

For information on Learning for Life Navigators click here.​​​​​​​​​​

Page last updated: February 20, 2019