Learning for Life Services

Learning for Life Space

What We Do

Learning for Life (L4L) is a research-based, multi-faceted community and college partnership that links students to a network of services, supports and opportunities. This collaborative work fortifies students for college success and removes any challenges that they may encounter in keeping college a central priority in their lives.

The L4L staff team includes networks of peer mentors/advocates called Navigators, who are supported by Lead Navigators, one Educational Support Facilitator, 4 community partners from College Crusades, and College Visions, and a Director. The L4L community is about resilience and excellence, moving side-by-side with students to meet the challenges in becoming a college graduate.

I had little money, was hungry, and was unable to pay my rent. Thanks to the kind and understanding staff at the center, I was granted the Extraordinary Needs Fund, which enabled me to pay my rent. I was also given money so I was able to eat. I cannot thank the Unity Center and the Learning for Life staff enough for their help and compassion at such a critical time in my life."

Learning for Life Scholars 

Participation Form 

Learning for Life Logo

L4L seeks to recognize the extraordinary scholarship of those RIC students who meet and overcome the obstacles they encounter in achieving their academic goals and earning a college degree. We call those students, L4L Scholars.

If you are interested in becoming a Learning for Life Scholar, please fill out the participation form. We will link you with a Navigator and/or you will meet with an L4L staff member. The purpose of the meeting is to talk about your strengths and challenges and to provide insight about how we can best assist you on your course to success.  ​​​​

Partnerships & Collaborations

Collaborators are campus and/or community colleagues who have engaged in a mutual initiative with L4L. Partners provide essential funding, personnel, and student resources to L4L and the students we serve. 

Founding Partner

The College Crusade of Rhode Island is an innovative nonprofit organization founded in 1989 to reduce high school dropout rates and increase educational and career success for low-income urban youth. Each year they serve approximately 3,500 Crusaders from Rhode Island's most economically disadvantaged families in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, and Cranston. The Crusade combines the steady, nurturing presence of caring adults with a rich array of programs that focus on academic enrichment, social and personal development, career awareness and exploration, and preparation for postsecondary education. The College Crusade assists L4L in outreach and recruitment of Scholars as well as providing a College Crusade Advisor to serve Crusaders 4 days a week in the L4L space.

College Crusade

Founding Partner

College Visions empowers low-income and first-generation college-bound students to realize the promise of higher education by providing advising and resources to promote college enrollment, persistence, and graduation. College Visions advances equal access to educational opportunities in historically under-served communities. College Visions team member’s serves as a Community Navigators, providing one-to-one support to students at RIC who have also been part of the College Visions Success Program.

College Vision

Founding Partner

The Navigator model of student support was developed in partnership with the School of Social Work. The model includes a training curriculum that includes social work principles at its foundation. Though Navigators represent other related fields to social work, most are social work majors serving as Navigator interns. The SSW field office and faculty supervisor for the interns, Dr. Jennifer Meade, coordinate the selection of interns and ongoing support.

Social Work

Founding Partner

The Unity Center is the Rhode Island College multicultural center. Its mission is to promote the accessibility of educational services and the opportunity for excellence to all students through collaborative programming among its student affiliates, faculty, staff and the wider community. The Unity Center served as the first main hub for Learning for Life, providing an opportunity to reach out to students in one of the hearts of student activity on campus. The Unity Center provided space and a founding presence for L4L. Since this early partnership that began in 2012, the Unity Center and L4L have worked together on multiple initiatives to: create a student resource area to bring needed campus and community services to students in a comfortable, safe drop-in space; advance the Center’s textbook lending library; and provide leadership development opportunities for students.

Unity Center


L4L Feedback

Learning for Life is always looking for ways to improve our support for students. Please take a moment to give us feedback.

Learning for Life Navigators

2021 Navigators

Meet the heart of the L4L team, our 2021 Navigators! Read their bios and learn more about how you can connect with a navigator to help support you!


Who Are the L4L Navigators?

At the heart of L4L is the Navigator model of student support, peer-to-peer mentorship and linkages to resources for students through a network of trained students in partnership with the RIC School of Social Work.

Learning for Life Navigators

Navigators are Masters or Senior level students, from a diverse set of backgrounds and majors, whose primary role is to support the students we serve, called L4L Scholars. Each Navigator will work with a network of students, building bridges upon which students can reach each other and the resources they need for success.

L4L and the School of Social Work have developed a multi-faceted training curriculum that is required for all L4L Navigators and taught by campus staff and faculty, as well as community partners.

Become a Navigator

Navigators are students from a diverse set of backgrounds and majors. If you would be interested in an internship or job as a Navigator please contact jgarzon@ric.edu for more information.

Training Program

The L4L Training Program includes: 

  • L4L Overview, Operations, and Findings from the Recent Evaluation
  • Who is the L4L Scholar?
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Principles of Practice: Boundaries, Use of Self, Confidentiality and Ethics
  • Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention
  • Substance Use and Addictions
  • LGBTQ Awareness and Support
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
  • Assertive Advising Strategies
  • Academic Guidance and Support
  • Basic Needs Resources: Housing, Food, Financial Support
  • Student Advocacy
  • Campus Tour

Educational Support Coordinators

The L4L Community is organized through networks of support led by Educational Support Coordinators who serve as the central point of contact for Scholars as well as the Navigators.

ESC’s, as we call them, also coordinate project objectives including outreach to students, the development of marketing materials, communications, and collaborative initiatives.

Clinical oversight for the Navigators is provided through a faculty member of the School of Social Work, Dr. Jennifer Meade and the Associate Director of Learning for Life.

Forms & Resources

Rhode Island College entrance

Contact Us

Learning for Life

We are here to connect students to on and off campus resources and opportunities to empower and overcome life obstacles on their journey to graduation.