Thanks to friends like you, College Visions supports college students to stay on track from enrollment all the way to graduation through our College Success Program. Do you want to know what CV college students are up to? Here’s a short roundup of exciting news:

Lizbeth Avalos, Rhode Island College Class of 2017

"Studying abroad in Florence was indubitably one of the best experiences of my life. With the help of my host family, I was able to truly immerse into the culture and experience day-to-day life as a Florentine. On weekdays I studied advanced Italian for my minor and on weekends I traveled to various Italian cities, as well as England, France, Germany, Switzerland and Spain. My travels exposed me to a variety of people, cuisines and cultures, but perhaps the most culturally enriching experience I partook in abroad was volunteering as an EMT assistant for 3 months with the Fratellanza Militare in Florence. By choosing to volunteer, I evolved from a simple American study abroad student to an active member of the Florentine community. I assisted people in need, learned about my host city's health care system, visited various homes and hospitals, and saw a side of Florence only locals get to experience. While performing my duties, I strengthened my Italian language skills, solidified my interest in medicine, and made life-long friends. I believe my whole experience abroad strengthened me as a person. I feel more confident and capable than ever to be independent, to help people in need, to study other languages, to experience other cultures, to keep on traveling, to take on the world and to succeed in everything I set my mind to. Studying abroad was definitely THE best experience of my life."

Anta at Barnard

Anta Touray, Barnard College Class of 2017

“I am honored to be a Mellon Fellow as I truly believe that little by little we are contributing to changing the face of academia, transforming it until it reflects the diversity of social economic origin, political inclination, and race in this country. Being a Mellon Fellow afforded me the opportunity to travel to Paris last summer to conduct research in the French archives. My research is a critical reading of the French Revolution following the contradiction between slavery and freedom, through understanding how French planters articulated their right to deny slaves rights based on the revolution's Declaration of the Rights of Man.”

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Benjamin Concepcion, University of Rhode Island Class of 2017 “I could have never seen in my future that I would be in Bhutan. Every morning I see the Himalayas when I wake up! To be honest, I have disliked school, but what I am realizing is that without higher education I would not be who I am today and who I will be once I cross that stage. Bhutan was a dream and now it is a reality, graduation was a dream and soon it will be a moment in my life. College Visions has helped me realize dreams are just goals in the near future. I owe CV.”

Christopher Fevry, Bentley University Class of 2017

“This semester I have been focused on launching my startup. MyBarber allows people to get haircuts whenever or wherever is convenient for them. Through our crowdfunding campaign we were able to raise over $4,000. My time is currently consumed with classes, moving MyBarber forward, and spending time with my friends.”

Check out MyBarber at

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Thanks to our generous community partner Southwest Airlines, College Visions is flying admitted students to visit colleges across the US this spring. Southwest also supports professional development travel for College Visions staff. Recently CV Advisor Francesca and Operations Manager Joshua used vouchers provided by Southwest to fly to Washington, D.C. and participate in data training offered by the National College Access Network.

From Francesca: “The NCAN data training helped me reflect on our work at College Visions and ways to use data to better support students on a path to and through college. The information and connections I made at the training will help me analyze and gather data to better support our programming, and I thank Southwest for making this possible!”

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If you wonder how College Visions has managed to help so many students earn college degrees over the years, here is your answer. Our students’ success is thanks to the amazing people that support College Visions on a day-to-day basis. Jim Olick is a strong supporter and we would like to let him share a bit about himself with you.

Could you tell me a little about yourself?

"As the Director of Admissions Systems and Operations at Johnson & Wales University my days are full of data analysis, working to understand high school students, and what influences their college choices. I’m always looking at the larger patterns within enrollment management. I love that College Visions gives me the chance to help students one-on-one. It is immensely rewarding to help someone achieve the dream of going to college."

"While not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife and I have been married for just under 10 years. Our 7-year-old son keeps our lives full of adventures and on the run. When time permits and the weather agrees, I enjoy gardening. It is nice to slow things down."

Is education important to you and why? What was your educational journey like?

"Education is very important to me. As a lifelong learner, my educational journey is still ongoing. I attended a public high school, East Providence High School. My parents always pushed me to attend college. While never enrolling themselves, they saw the importance of education. It provides a realm of choices, which can be otherwise lost. During my college search, costs were a major factor. I chose to forgo a selective private institution as they provided minimal financial aid. The University of Rhode Island is where I received my Bachelors, double majoring in Management Information Systems and Marketing. A few years after graduating I returned part time for a MBA. Currently I am working towards a Doctorate in Education at Northeastern University, recently completing coursework and moving into the dissertation phase."

What moves you to donate to CV?

"My direct experiences of how costs can quickly close doors in a college search provided a connection to CV’s mission. Seeing how effective CV is with supporting their students is beyond impressive. Being data focused, how CV outperforms the national averages in retention and graduation proves the value in the work being done."

Do you think CV is an important resource to the community?

"CV provides an invaluable resource to the community. Education provides a path towards economic freedom. Supporting those who may otherwise not find the path to college helps not only the students, but the wider community. The outside donations from organizations such as Bank of America, Citizens Bank, and BankRI provide external validation that many organizations are seeing the importance in the work done by CV."

Is there anything else you would like to share?

"I’ve been proud to support CV. Every chance I get I try to share the good work being done and how impressive the students are. I’m looking forward to helping next cycle as the admissions and financial aid timelines are shifted due to the “Prior Prior year” FAFSA changes. It will be a whole new world with financial aid processing starting in October instead of January. I hope this provides students with more time to make informed decisions."

We are honored to have him Jim our corner. He believes in College Visions and providing students with the right tools and resources to build a foundation in education that they may use throughout their lives. Thank you, Jim for supporting CV 100%!

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This year, College Visions guided 81 low-income, first-generation 12th graders through the admission process. After all the hard work, and thanks to the support of friends like you, acceptance letters have arrived! 100% of our students received an acceptance (Is his true? Double check with Raul), and they’ve been admitted to a long list of schools including Boston College, Brandeis, Brown, Community College of Rhode Island, Dickinson, Guilford, Gustavus Adolphus, Macalester, Mount Holyoke, Muhlenberg, Providence College, Rhode Island College, and University of Rhode Island. Students are visiting colleges, weighing financial aid awards, and getting ready to make a choice by May 1.

Garty describes himself as “shy,” but if you met him you might disagree. On the many afternoons that he spends at College Visions, Garty always makes sure to stop and say hi to everyone in the office.

Like each of the 81 College Visions 12th graders Garty came to us with big dreams and big fears. He knew he wanted to go to college, but he remembers, “I didn’t know how to start. I didn’t know anything about the Common App or about financial aid.”

Garty attends Central High School. His main interests are science and art. He has been interested in animals since the 7th grade and plans to study zoology in college. He works hard on his paintings, sculptures, and drawings, with help from our partner organization, New Urban Arts. Garty also keeps busy working at a movie theatre and writing a novel in his spare time.

When he came for his application interview, he says, “I was scared, and I walked around the building a bunch of times. I don’t go a lot of places in Providence and I felt nervous.” But, when he got to the office he met College Visions advisor Emily, and “I made some jokes and she laughed. She wasn’t someone who would just treat me like a kid,” so Garty decided to stick with College Visions.

Thanks to our friends and supporters, College Visions has been there for Garty throughout 12th grade, even though “I didn’t realize how much work it would be to apply to college. Now, I’m glad that my advisor made me do everything. And they taught me stuff like how to talk on the phone and how to do financial aid forms. My mom really likes College Visions too because of the help with fee waivers.”

You will be happy to know that Garty worked hard all year, and he has earned acceptances to several colleges including the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and Canisius College! He is waiting to compare all of his financial aid packages before he makes a final decision, but he knows that next September he will be a college student!

And College Visions support doesn’t stop with college acceptances. After high school graduation, Garty will become part of the College Visions College Success Program, and we will continue to support him all the way to college graduation!

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225 Degrees and Rising!

Please join us to celebrate College Visions Graduates/Por favor, acompañanos para la ceremonia de graduación de College Visions  

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016/martes, 24 of mayo del 2016, 5:30pm – 8:00pm                

The Met School’s Black Box Theater              

325 Public St., Providence, RI 02907  

(Parking will be available in The Met parking lot. Bus routes 1, 3, and 11 go to The Met)/(Estacionamiento sera disponible en el aparcadero del Met. Los autobuses 1, 3 y 11 van al Met)  

Light refreshments will be served!/REFRIGERIOS SERÁN SERVIDOS!  



Please RSVP at:

Por favor confirmer su asistencia a:

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Operation FAFSA: Complete

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100% of College Visions 12th graders and 95% of college students have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)! This is such great news! As some of you may know, students must fill out the FAFSA in order to receive financial aid. The amount of money students receive in their financial aid package can be the determining factor in which school they are able to attend. So, with that in mind, this application is pretty important to everyone who wants to go to any college or university. Luckily, all CV 12th graders and college students, as well as their families have support from CV advisors and our generous volunteers as they work through the FAFSA. FAFSA season requires a lot of work, but together we get it done!

New requirements for establishing a Federal Student Aid (FSA ID) made the FAFSA process longer and more complicated for some CV students and families, but because CV advisors offered FAFSA workshops and parties early in the year, students and families got an early start. With this support, CV students got their applications in by the March 1 Rhode Island priority deadline!

It got really crowded in the office during FAFSA season, but we got it done!
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I, personally, had the opportunity to help students complete this application during one of CV’s FAFSA workshops. I got to meet some of the faces in the upcoming generation and I can tell you that each one will make our future that much brighter. Working with College Visions students is definitely a rewarding experience and I am so glad they are continuing to set the bar as a college access/success nonprofit. To all those students who have completed their FAFSA application, CONGRATULATIONS, you are that much closer to earning a college degree!



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CV Student Rosa Ramos Studies Abroad! Read All About It!

Rosa is a junior at Providence College who is double majoring in Global Studies and Spanish, as well as interning with College Visions! Even with a full plate, Rosa will begin a study abroad adventure in Argentina this spring! When you support students like Rosa, you give to transformative experiences like study abroad!


Rosa says: "When I was looking at programs the first thing that I knew was number one on my list was anything human rights and social justice related. So when looking at programs, it wasn’t so much about the location, although I did prefer that it was a Spanish speaking country. I remember looking at different programs and the program I chose is called “human rights and social movements in Argentina,” so I got both in one." >br>

With the full support of College Visions, her family, and friends, Rosa is taking control of all the amazing opportunities college has to offer and she encourages all of her fellow college students to do the same!

Being away from family has really helped me in finding my identity and finding what it is I want to do. I finally get to make my own choices and I think that’s what college is all about. Studying abroad should be just like if you are going to college and you are studying there and taking advantage of the various opportunities that you’ll have to flourish in a very different way than you would if you were home.

Many of our students worry that they won’t be able to study aboard because of the cost. CV advisors urge our students to look for affordable programs particularly those that will work with the student’s existing financial aid, and to apply for scholarships that support study abroad. And, we aren’t the only organization encouraging low-income, first-generation students to study abroad. Inside Higher Ed recently published two essays making the case for diversifying student abroad opportunities. You can read the Charles Lu’s essay “Expanding Opportunities for Minority Students to Study Abroad” here and Paula Kreb’s essay “Expanding Opportunities for Working Class Students to Study Abroad” here.

Providence College

The College Visions/Providence College Team!

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Apply to Join College Visions Today!

College Visions is a free program that supports students in Providence and nearby communities to apply to college, and then we continue to support our students all the way to college graduation!

If you are an 11th grader or the parent/guardian/supporter of an 11th grader, please check out our application and info sessions in the links below.  And if you know 11th graders who need help getting to college, please share the College Visions application:

2016 CV Application:

Sign Up Here (CV Student Recruitment Information Session): 

Check out our Facebook page here.


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It's college application season, and that means that College Visions students need your help! CV 12th graders are working hard on their college applications. Now that application deadlines are right around the corner, we will open the CV office* to host weekend application parties.

Can you help by volunteering? As a volunteer, you will work closely with students, editing their college essays, polishing their resumes, and reviewing their applications!

The College Visions office will open for weekend application parties on the following days:

Saturday, December 5th, 10:30am-3:00pm

Sunday, December 6th, 10:30am-3:00pm

Saturday, December 12th, 11:00am-3:00pm

Sunday, December 13th, 11:00am-3:00pm

You don't need previous experience to be a big help to CV students. Just bring your enthusiasm, and we will provide a brief training at the beginning of each session. It's going to be a busy, but fun, set of weekends! If you’d like to volunteer for one or more days, please click here or email Gleyribel at And thank you!

*The College Visions office is located at 131 Washington Street, Suite 205, Providence, RI 02903. You can also reach us at (401) 490-3996.

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"Candido Moya joined forces with College Visions during his senior year, working through the application and financial aid process to select Brandeis University, which has provided a full scholarship for his course of study. 'I learned how to advocate for myself,” says Moya, who is now sharing his experience of applying to and seeking robust financial support for college with younger friends and relatives.'"

Click here to read more of the College Visions story in Jill Davidson's column "An Academic Vision for the Future," featured in the East Side Monthly.