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​​​​Top row, from left: RIC students Micaela Furtado, Octavian Goncalves and Kennedy Ryan​. Bottom row, from​ left: Shreena Patel, Angela Pierre-Louis, Christian Ortiz-Blanco and Jacklyn Xavier.​


This fall​ seven RIC students were among 49 selected for Leadership Rhode Island’s College Program, an academic-year-long program designed to prepare them for professional life. Each year Leadership Rhode Island invests in the personal and professional growth of young leaders ​through this tuition-free program for students ages 18-26​.

Kennedy Ryan, a senior communications major with a concentration in advertising, said she felt​ “extremely fortunate” to be chosen for this program. 

“I’m looking forward to networking with leaders throughout Rhode Island and building relationships within my field of communications,” she said. “I’m also hoping to broaden​ my​ leadership skills and to ​make​​ some lifelong associations.”

Fell​ow RIC students who have joined her in the 2019-2020 class are:

  • Micaela Furtado, a junior metalsmithing and jewelry major.
  • Octavian Goncalves, a senior finance major.
  • Christian Ortiz-Blanco, a junior computer science major.
  • Shreena Patel, a freshman biology major.
  • Angela Pierre-Louis, a sophomore biochemistry major.
  • Jacklyn Xavier, a senior marketing major.

From September through May, these students will develop leadership skills; learn how to develop professional networks; and explore careers in the nonprofit, private, public and philanthropic sectors. They will cover  such topics as what today's companies look for when hiring, the ins and outs of networking, the etiquette code and exploring Rhode Island's nonprofit landscape.

Upon completing the program, the seven will join 2,500-plus alumni, with whom long-term personal and professional connections are created.​

Furtado has always aspired to be a leader, she said. “Through this program, I’ll be able to build on my strengths. ​​I really want to leave a mark.”

Participants in the program are selected on the basis of their passion for the people and future of Rhode Island, their personal commitment to shape the future of Rhode Island, their past and present activities that exhibit this commitment, their leadership on campus and their desire to extend their leadership influence and professional network, while supporting the leadership and stewardship of Rhode Island.