Meet The Team
James Monteiro, Founder and Director
James Monteiro works both within and outside the Adult Correction Institution of Rhode Island to ensure that adults in transition homes have a college degree pathway that is integrated into the support systems needed upon release. James dropped out of school in the eighth grade and spent most of his adult life in and out of the penal system. The last time James was incarcerated he was doing a ten year sentence in one of the country’s most violent prison systems, Baltimore Maryland’s Penitentiary. It was there that James first went back to school earning an Associate’s degree in Psychology with Honors and, and upon release, earned a bachelor’s degree in Community Development at Roger Williams University’s College Unbound program. James has won the Rhode Island NAACP Joseph Lecount Award for his work founding the Billy Taylor House; a program that provides workforce development and enrichment opportunities to youth ages fifteen to twenty-one in James’ childhood neighborhood, the Mount Hope community of Providence. He has been named as one of Rhode Island’s “15 to Watch” for his work in youth programs that address violence in the city and prepare the next generation of Providence leaders.
Diana Gonzalez, Academic Advisor and Transition Coordinator
Diana Gonzalez is from Milford, Massachusetts. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. There she studied psychology and Spanish and worked as a tutor and academic support specialist. She graduated in 2017 with her Bachelors degree in Psychology. Diana has been volunteering and working with the ReEntry Campus Program since 2019. She is currently pursuing her Master's Degree from Bridgewater State University with the hopes of becoming a counselor.
Abigail Lucy Terry, Data and Communications Manager
Abby grew up on the east end of Long Island, New York and has lived in Rhode Island for 5 years. She completed her undergraduate degree in American Politics and Leadership Studies from the University of Rhode Island in May of 2019. She spent her first year post-grad volunteering with AmeriCorps VISTA at the Nonviolence Institute where she met James and Diana, and got introduced to the Reentry Campus Program for the first time. Abby manages the Reentry Campus Program's website, newsletter, and social media accounts, as well as its databases. She comes to us with a wide range of nonprofit and political campaign experience and looks forward to sharing the story of the Reentry Campus Program throughout Rhode Island and beyond!
Robert McKinney, RCP Mentor
Robert McKinney was born and raised in Providence, RI and grew up between South Side (Lockwood) and East Side. Rob attended Hope High School where he graduated in 1994, during these years he was always active in sports until 11th grade when he got shot hanging out with friends. Afterwards, between small time hustling and hanging out, Rob became heavy in the streets. Staying loyal to his friends and the streets led him to serving 24 years in prison. During this time, Rob had the chance to reflect on his life choices and came to the conclusion that his life “is worth living the right way.” Nowadays, in his free time when he’s not busy being a father of two, he’s helping lead young men to make better choices, instead of spending 24 years behind bars before they understand.
Justin Thomas, Discharge Planner
Justin Thomas is part of a small group that has been incarcerated in the RI DOC and is approved to currently do work inside of the RI DOC. He is a passionate individual who is determined to not only learn from his mistakes but also pass those lessons forward. As one of Roger Williams University, UC Pivot The Hustle facilitators, Justin is an example of what re-entry programing can do for students. As an incarcerated man in 2016 Justin was part of the very first cohort, while still inside of Men’s Minimum Security prison. Since that time he completed a year of AmeriCorps Vista service (The first formerly incarcerated individual in the state of RI to do so). Due to the nature of his crime and the leniency of his sentencing Justin felt he owed his state and community and spent years after incarceration working with/ at Non Profit agencies whose focus was on direct service; supporting directly impacted/formerly incarcerated individuals post release. Justin also works as a Video Production Specialist utilizing the Bachelor’s degree he received prior to incarceration from North Carolina Agricultural; Technical State University. Justin is extremely happy to be joining the Reentry Campus Program team as an Educational Discharge Planner helping students continue their educational journeys after release.
Nia Monteiro, Student Support Specialist
Nia Monteiro was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated
from Rhode Island College with a B.S in Biology and a minor in Psychology, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Occupational Therapy. After she completed a year as an AmeriCorps member, a voluntary civil society program supported by the U.S. federal government, she became a Direct Support Professional for young adults with disabilities. Nia has become a part of the team here at Reentry Campus Program as a Student Support Specialist. As a Student Support Specialist she manages all communications related to education between RCP and our currently incarcerated students. She is excited to continue her love for helping others and being a part of the solution to social change.
Nayeli Candelier, Student Resource Specialist
Nayeli Candelier is from Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated in 2020 from the Providence Career and Technical Academy. She has completed a cosmetology program and joined both dance and modeling agencies. This fall she will be attending the Community College of Rhode Island Liston Campus to continue to pursue her studies as a medical assistant. In addition to pursuing her career Nayeli was awarded a silver medal from the Skills USA Rhode Island Organization. She has been working with the ReEntry Campus Program since 2019.
Nora G., Office Manager
Nora, our front desk receptionist and office manager, is an occupational therapy major at CCRI. She is in recovery and is grateful to be a part of the RCP team.
James "Scratch" Ellerbe, Maintenance Tech
James Ellerbe, also known as Scratch, has been a Providence Rhode Island resident for 40/50 years. He attended Central High School. He started with RCP in October helping with all things maintenance and any other office support. Scratch has hopes to someday be a business owner himself, until that time comes he is taking it one day at a time.