I grew up in East Providence, going to St. Brendan School and St. Brendan Church. The parish was my life, in particular – the basketball leagues. I still talk about going 16-2 when I bump into childhood friends.
My heart has that classic East Providence Townie Pride, but I’m a LaSalle guy. I don’t think I spoke my freshman year. My long, curly hair reminded people of Sideshow Bob or Kenny G. But, by the time I was a senior, I was class president and managing my parents’ Smoothie King on Thayer Street. The friendships I built in high school are one of the greatest fortunes of my life, and those people are still some of my closest friends today. In fact, they’re pillars of the team that’s creating our campaign.
From LaSalle I went on to Boston College. I didn’t feel like I immediately fit in at BC. So, I moved off-campus and got an apartment with friends from home. I studied History, Political Science, Philosophy and Middle Eastern Studies. I buried myself in my studies. I read a lot. I worked a number of odd jobs on the side, including a dream gig on the Fenway Park Street Crew. I remember reading Plato’s Republic while watching Pedroia take infield. It was a wish come true. Eventually, by pure luck, I landed in an apartment of BC guys who became my friends. They’re on the campaign team too.
Before I graduated in 2009, the Great Recession hit. My mother made me apply to law schools. I wasn’t terribly interested, but there were no jobs. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after I graduated. So, last minute, no other options available – I ended up going to Florida State University College of Law. Attending law school as a last resort was a privilege I didn’t realize until later in life.
Law school was miserable. But, my classmates were phenomenal and my summer studies at Oxford woke me back up. I thought about transferring home to Roger Williams, but then I met a girl, Jenica. I finished law school at FSU and we decided to move back to Rhode Island, where I started working at my father’s law firm.
Eventually, I did end up at Roger Williams University, albeit in a different capacity than I originally expected. I went from being a Paralegal Studies Program student aide to receiving the 2015 Thomas J. Carroll Outstanding Teacher Award.
Some of my fondest memories are from my formative years as a student. And now I see students leading protests, working to form the future they deserve. They’re demanding change. They’re inspiring me. We will create the system of our future. Our children will benefit from the labors of our love for our country.
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