Alexis Devine, Youth Development Coordinator
Alexis Devine is the youth development coordinator for the workforce development department in Lifespan human resources. Devine began her tenure with Lifespan at Rhode Island Hospital in 2002 as a research assistant in the child protection program. From there she transitioned to youth project coordinator in Lifespan Community Health Services before assuming her current position. Devine received her bachelor’s degree in bio-community health from Brown University in 2003. At Brown, she was honored with several awards, and was named “Woman of the Year”.
Devine has extensive experience in youth employment, youth development and community outreach, particularly in low-income and diverse communities. Devine currently coordinates the Lifespan youth employment and youth development programs and serves on several boards of directors, including the Workforce Partnership of Greater Rhode Island, the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence and the Providence/Cranston Workforce Investment Board, where she is also the co-chairperson of the Youth Council.
In her role as youth development coordinator, Devine significantly expanded the Lifespan Summer Youth Employment Program which has served nearly 600 youths over eight years. The federal department of Labor and Training acknowledged the Lifespan Summer Youth Employment Program as one of the top eleven youth employment programs in the country.
Devine is particularly interested in reducing disparities in health, education and employment that effect young people as well as building a qualified future workforce. In 2007, Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island presented Devine with the Ralph F. Gabellieri Award for her “unique integration of competency and compassion both in life as a successful business leader and in her dedication to the community.” University of Rhode Island’s PINK organization recognized Devine as the recipient for its 2012 Unsung Heroine award. In addition to her work in youth development, Devine co-teaches courses in the public service and policy department at Providence College. Mother of two, Devine has also been a fitness instructor for fifteen years and currently teaches kick-boxing at Brown University.
Samantha St. Lawrence, Project Coordinator and Case Manager
Samantha St. Lawrence is a project coordinator and case manager for Lifespan’s Summer Youth Employment Program. She assists with program design and creating youth development programs. Additionally, St. Lawrence serves as an academic mentor for youth employees and is involved with raising scholarship funds for the program’s participants. She begin in workforce development as a volunteer in 2011 and transitioned into her current position in 2012.
St. Lawrence is presently a student at Brown University studying education and English with interests in urban education and education policy.
Kevin Porras, Payroll Coordinator
Kevin Porras is the payroll director for Lifespan’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Additionally, he functions as a role model and mentor for the program’s youth. His involvement with the summer youth employment program began in 2009 when he worked in central transport at Rhode Island Hospital. Since then, he has interned for Rhode Island Hospital’s design team and for the hospital's vice president of human resources. He assumed his current position as payroll director in 2012.
Porras is currently a student at Providence College working towards receiving a degree in finance.
Verounia Gabra, Program Coordinator
Verounia Gabra is a sophomore at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, studying pre-medical and health sciences. Verounia, a former Lifespan Youth employee, serves as a program coordinator for the Lifespan Summer Youth Employment Program. She works on program design and helps create new youth development workshops. Gabra additionally serves as a role model and a mentor for youth employees.
Willie W. Borkai, Case Manager and Grant Coordinator
Willie W. Borkai is a case manager and grant coordinator for the Lifespan’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Prior to this position, Borkai was a youth participant in the program. He started in 2008 and has worked in numerous departments since then. As a case manager, Borkai works to ensure that all students are prepared to be successful in the work place. As a grant coordinator, he serves as a liaison between grant providers and students of the program, maintaining smooth communication between both parties. Additionally, he serves as a mentor to the youth in the program.
Borkai currently attends Roger Williams University where he is concentrating in psychology with minors in American studies and anthropology/sociology.
Michaela Ferreira, Case Manager and Grant Coordinator
Michaela Ferreira joined the Summer Youth Employment Program in 2012 working as a case manager and grant coordinator. She works with youth employees to ensure a positive work and life balance by providing the guidance and supportive services that they may need. As a grant coordinator, Ferreira helps to oversee and maintain necessary requirements as established by the funders.
Ferreira is currently a junior at Providence College studying elementary and special education with a concentration in public and community service.