City Year Providence announces trailblazer Nirva LaFortune as new Executive Director
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – City Year Providence, an education nonprofit that recruits young adults for a year of service in Providence Public Schools, is pleased to announce that former Providence Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune has been selected as the organization’s new executive director and senior vice president.
“As Rhode Island’s first Haitian American elected official, first Black female mayoral candidate and longtime champion of students, families and schools, City Year Providence is delighted that Nirva LaFortune will become our new executive director,” said Michael Baer, who chairs City Year Providence’s Board.
LaFortune is expected to be introduced as the next executive director at City Year Providence’s 30th anniversary gala this evening at the WaterFire Arts Center. She officially starts May 24.
LaFortune emigrated from Port-au-Prince, Haiti to the U.S. when she was three years old and grew up in Providence. As a student in Providence Public Schools, LaFortune was mentored by City Year AmeriCorps members and never forgot the impact they had on her as a young person.
LaFortune has worked in higher education for 17 years, in addition to serving as a City Councilwoman of Ward 3 in Providence and running for mayor in 2022. In her most recent role, she was the Assistant Director of the Curricular Resource Center for Peer Advising at Brown University, where she received a master’s degree in urban education policy in 2019.
“As a graduate of Providence Public Schools and an advocate for all young people to have equitable access to an excellent education and for students and their families to have greater voice in decision-making, it’s an honor to join City Year Providence as it embarks on its fourth decade of service to the students and schools of our city,” LaFortune said.
After graduating from Mount Pleasant High School, LaFortune received a bachelor’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. She led Drexel University’s Centers for Public Policy and Science Technology and Society, joining Brown in 2014, where she worked in academic and student affairs, diversity initiatives and peer advising.
Over the years, hundreds of young adults have served thousands of Rhode Island students through City Year Providence. This year, 24 City Year Providence AmeriCorps members are serving full time in six city schools, reaching nearly 3,000 students each day through whole school and targeted support. City Year AmeriCorps members serve as student success coaches—tutors, mentors and role models—preparing students with the skills, relationships and learning environments they need to succeed in school and in life.
About City Year
City Year is a trailblazing, youth-powered organization with a dual mission: expanding educational equity for students furthest from opportunity and developing diverse leaders through national service.
Research shows the more time a student spends with a City Year AmeriCorps member serving as student success coach, the better the student outcomes—academically, socially and emotionally.
A public-private partnership, City Year is a proud member of AmeriCorps, operating in 29 U.S. cities with international affiliates in the U.K. and South Africa. Today, nearly 40,000 alums continue to lead and serve where they live and work.
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