Welcome to Providence Center!

Providence Center has been providing joy and hope to the Fairhill section of Philadelphia through educational programming since 1993. While we welcome the entire community, most of our students come from Fairhill’s substantial Puerto Rican and Latino population. Though our community has the highest poverty rate in Philadelphia, we are committed to helping hard-working families embrace futures filled with hope and opportunity. Join us, and be part of something truly meaningful!

Who are we?

Committed to North Philadelphia’s Fairhill community since 1993, Providence Center offers education programming for children, youth, and adults.  Our mission is to educate people to have the power and spirit to transform their lives and community.
Providence Center was founded by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus in 1993 in response to the closing of St. Edward parish and school, where the Sisters had taught and worked for over one hundred years. From the beginning, when the Sisters went door-to-door asking neighbors what they needed, Providence Center has focused on addressing the pressing needs of our community. We are guided by the Sisters’ commitment to “meet the wants of the age”, and we carry out their legacy of being “a love full of action”.

Providence Center is located in the heart of Fairhill, a vibrant community in North Philadelphia. The people we serve are primarily from Puerto Rico or immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, or Central America. Our community faces many challenges, including the highest rates of poverty, violent crime, and drug use in the city of Philadelphia. At the same time, the spirit and resiliency of our neighbors inspires us, and together we are working hard to build better lives for community members and their families. Providence Center supports revitalization efforts in our community, and we accompany our students as they strive for futures full of possibility and grace.

Meet Our Team

Siria Rivera
Siria RiveraCEO
Siria Rivera was born in the City of Brotherly Love, where her parents met after migrating from Puerto Rico at the age of 19. At a young age, Siria and her family moved to Southern New Jersey, however, her ties to Philadelphia remained strong as a large part of her family resides in the city. Siria has 15 years of community-based service delivery and management experience working with diverse populations, both at a regional and national level. As a first-generation Latina raised in a single parent household who struggled with mainstream schooling, she knows firsthand the obstacles many young people and families face in the city of Philadelphia. Siria’s passion for youth development, multi-generational services, and advocacy on behalf of families in low-income communities is derived from her personal experiences and passion for giving back. As a former high school dropout, she understands the importance of alternative routes and the power of enabling youth to see themselves beyond their current circumstances. Siria obtained a Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University and studied Bilingual and Bicultural Studies at LaSalle University. Her role as Executive Director at Providence Center is much more than a job, it has proven to be a calling or a ‘coming home’, as Providence Center is located just blocks away from where Siria was born, in the community of Fairhill. Her work with Providence Center has allowed her to come full circle, giving back to the community that symbolizes the start of her journey.
Siria currently resides in Collingswood New Jersey with her son, Najee, who is her biggest fan. She serves on her hometown’s Board of Education and hopes to inspire other young professionals of color to join their local school boards.
Shannon McGill
Shannon McGillDirector of Youth Development
Shannon McGill is responsible for ensuring a safe and nurturing environment that cultivates high quality youth programs in accordance with DHS standards. She has dedicated nearly two decades to supporting marginalized communities through local government, education, and the nonprofit sector. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Shannon received her master’s in Human Services to guide her passion for empowering individuals through capacity building, identifying opportunities, mentorship, and advocacy.
Carolann TorresDevelopment Director
Carolann Torres is the Director of Development at Providence Center. She studied Community Planning and Development, and Social Policy at CUNY Hunter College. Carolann became passionate about serving Latino communities while doing community development work in East Harlem. She developed an interest in fundraising and development while working with a mental health and housing services provider for people experiencing homelessness. Carolann also has experience teaching and mentoring at Fordham University, where she developed and implemented a social justice curriculum for high school students.
Director of Adult Education
Shaakinaa DrakefordYouth Program Coordinator
Shaakinaa Drakeford-Cheatham, our Youth Program Coordinator, has been a part of the Providence Center family for over six years. She first started as a teacher in our Power afterschool program, where she taught 4th-6th graders in our blue classroom, and we supported her as she began and completed a Master’s program in Human Services. Today, not only does she still serve as a classroom teacher, she also works directly with our Teen Leaders and Youth Advocates, providing one-on-one guidance as needed and organizing and supervising personal and professional development opportunities for them through the year and during our annual Summer Leadership Academy. Shaakinaa serves as an excellent role model, both for our afterschool students and teens, and for our younger staff members as well. She is the perfect example of hard work, passion, and commitment to our mission, and she is an invaluable member of our team.
Paula Jimeno LaraYouth Organizer

Board of Directors

Role Name Title
Board Chair Bryan Eichenbaum Senior Vice President of Consumer Lending, AHFCU
Development Ruth Capuzzi Former Director of Development Society of the Holy Child Jesus
Vice Chair, Development Palmer Dalesandro Former Vice President, Capgemini
Governance Telecia Dambreville Director, Counsel – Employment Burlington Stores, Inc
Governance Chair Margaret “Peg” Doyle, SHCJ VP for Mission and Ministry Rosemont College
Development, Facilities Peter Greenhalgh Industrial Real Estate Broker Avision Young
Finance Juan Lopez Executive Vice President, CFO & Treasurer – Independence Health Group
Finance Dian Taylor-Pringle Former Director of Human Resources – Society of the Holy Child Jesus
Secretary, Facilities Chair Chuck Stefanosky Director Strategy Sourcing & Procurement – Independence Blue Cross
Governance Erin Murphy Boyle Business Development Executive, Ernst & Young LLP
Development Chair Julia Rivera Chief External Affairs Officer – Congreso de Latinos Unidos
Governance Julian Rios Bilingual Collective Impact Coordinator