In order to best introduce Romel, it’s necessary to share a quick story about our new Program Director for NYCID’s Intense Community Monitoring (ICM) Program.

I had arrived at 130 Stuyvesant Place on Romel’s second day with NYCID.  Walking into the suite we share with Youth Probation, I find him right in the middle of two families who clearly are in a state of conflict and trauma.  As we meet, I can tell that Romel’s wheels have been turning for some time and he has devised a plan of action to help these two families.

Keeping the confidence of the family, he carefully shares with me the issues and transitions to an action plan that includes the two of us sitting with the families to conduct an emergency mediation. He’s certain we can help resolve their differences.

As a Credible Messenger, Romel believes that accountability is the key ingredient to growth and I can tell by the look in his eyes that he knows we can help these folks right then and there.

The next hour or so is a tumultuous time. Anger. Tears. Yelling. Threats. A broken phone. And then peace. Understanding. Clarity. Resolution. A plan to stop the violence.

Romel did this!  I happened to be along for the ride.  He believes that people can develop a new sense of understanding out of their trauma. While he grew up in Brooklyn, he’s devoted his time and energy to our Staten Island community.

He attended New Rochelle College and studied Social Sciences.  A lover of sports and music and humanity.  When you work with Romel you can immediately see that he is always looking for ways to be part of the greater good.  He’s always seeking to understand first.

While I have known Romel for years and have heard of his ability to be a changemaker, this was my first experience with him as a NYCID team member: it’s an unforgettable one.

Welcome, my brother.