College Visions executive director Figueroa to leave organization, join PPSD leadership team

PROVIDENCE – A local nonprofit that provides resources to low-income individuals to help with the promise of higher-education opportunities will be seeking a new leader.

College Visions Executive Director Nick Figueroa announced in an emailed statement Monday he will resign from his post Feb. 8 after three years at the nonprofit to become the chief of family and community engagement for the Providence Public School District. He will be part of the new team the R.I. Department of Education assembled to work alongside Harrison Peters, who was introduced as the city’s new school superintendent Monday.

According to his email, College Vision continues to grow in the number of students the organization serves. In the past year, College Visions served more than 500 students and in its most recent cohort of college graduates, 82% earned degrees within six years of enrolling, Figueroa said.

Figueroa said it is “deeply meaningful” to him to provide information and resources to allow the organization’s students to apply to college “with confidence, and to persist and earn degrees.”

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“While I am sad to leave College Visions, I am proud that this organization is programmatically and fiscally strong and thriving,” Figueroa said in the statement. “College Visions has had a longtime commitment to building talent from within, and I feel confident leaving the organization in the capable hands of our staff and board.”

College Visions Board Chair Deborah Obailil said in a statement Monday that the organization created new “strategic partnerships, increased the number of students” and improved their outcomes under Figueroa’s leadership.

“I have tremendous respect for Nick’s commitment to true educational equity for low-income, first-generation students and thank him for his commitment to both College Visions and the larger field,” Obailil said in a statement. “We know he will continue to be a great advocate for both College Visions and the students we serve long after his tenure as executive director.”

Tina Meetran and Moira Hinderer will serve as acting co-directors for College Visions while a search for a permanent director will be conducted.

“We are confident that we will identify a candidate who will build on the existing strengths of the organization and lead us to a new level of achievement toward our mission,” Obailil said.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at

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