Community College of Rhode Island nursing student Leonardo “Leo” Alonzo Cepeda, 21, of Providence is one of five new CCRI Foundation trustees.
Cepeda was born in Providence and raised in the Dominican Republic. After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S. Army and served an active deployment from January 2016 through August 2017, during which he trained to become a combat medic.
“My combat medic training is where I found my passion for helping others, especially when the pressure is at its highest. I knew I wanted to work in the health care field as an emergency room nurse,” he said, noting he considered becoming a physician but wants the hands-on experience and connection with patients that nursing brings.
In addition to his full-time course load at CCRI, Cepeda works full time as an EMT at Medtech, a private ambulance company, and is an Army Reserve specialist E-4. He completed his prerequisites for the college’s competitive nursing program in one year and maintains a 3.97 grade point average. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and Student Nurse Organization and is an active member of the CCRI community, including serving as a student speaker at the college’s second annual Raising Opportunities Benefit and the Foundation’s annual meeting. He will graduate in 2020.
Cepeda joins new Foundation trustees:
“Leo brings an important perspective to our board, because our student success agenda is core to our college’s work, said CCRI Foundation Board of Trustees President Scott Avedisian. “We are fortunate to attract leaders in business and community, and we welcome them in service of our students and state.”
The CCRI Foundation supports CCRI, its students and alumni through collaboration with the philanthropic community. Established by the Rhode Island legislature in 1979, its charge was to provide a means of securing external support for the college and its programs and services. The Foundation’s role in obtaining additional resources has become vital to the integrity of the college and its mission to help students persist and graduate.