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Sister Angela Daniels and Reverend Daniel Trainor Fund for The Genesis Center
By Jean Cohoon / March 11, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
More than 30 years ago, Sister Angela Daniels, then a nun at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, saw a growing number of poor people, largely Cambodians and Hmong, in Providence’s West End.

“I remember one cold winter day looking out the rectory window and seeing this woman who had on sandals and a flimsy sweater, and saying to Father Trainor, ‘Who are these people?’ We knew we had to do something,” Sister Angela recalls.

Their neighbors’ need for assistance, most notably a desire to learn English, led Sister Angela and Father Daniel Trainor to co-found what today is The Genesis Center, a multi-service organization that has provided services to more than 7,500 people from 50 countries, and which Sister Angela continues to serve as a member of the nonprofit’s board.

“The Center has evolved from its early days when it offered English as a second language and classes in basic life skills to offering a robust workforce development program focusing on the culinary arts and healthcare, education that includes citizenship classes and a high school diploma program, and affordable childcare,” says The Genesis Center President Shannon Carroll.

The organization’s work attracted national recognition when, in 2014, it was honored by Vice President Joseph Biden as a “model program” in the National Skills Coalition, a designation awarded to only 30 nonprofit organizations around the country.

As one of the state’s largest adult education organizations, much of The Genesis Center’s funding comes from the Rhode Island Department of Education. Smaller federal and state grants, private funds, and Foundation grants also are sources of funding.

“The Rhode Island Foundation has supported The Genesis Center for years. I love the Foundation because it provides the non-government funds we can use to leverage other funds,” Shannon acknowledges, referring to the Foundation as “the go-to-place.”

The organization expanded its partnership with the Foundation by establishing this organization endowment. “The Foundation has a great reputation, and this endowment will provide us with the flexibility to do the things we need to do,” Shannon relates.
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