The Estates on Admiral’s Hill to Hold Holiday Open House Tuesday, Dec 5 at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill to Hold Holiday Open House Tuesday, Dec 5 at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea

The Estates on Admiral’s Hill (www.admiralshill.org) will hold a holiday open house for its two assisted living residences on Tuesday, December 5 from 3pm to 5pm. Amidst holiday treats, lively piano music and hot chocolate by the fireplace, attendees will meet Executive Director Yari Velez and her talented team. One-on-one discussions and personalized tours will be provided as well as the opportunity to meet the current residents.

Located on Admiral’s Hill at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea, The Estates is comprised of two separate residences: Cohen Florence Levine Estates, a traditional assisted living and Florence & Chafetz Home for Specialized Care, a residence for those in need of additional support services.  Amenities include fresh healthy meals, a 24-hour café with home-made baked goods, hair and nail salon, library, living room, great room for concerts and shows, dining room and outdoor courtyard area for seasonal activities.

“This open house is a chance for area residents to personally meet our amazing staff and residents and find out, first hand, what assisted living is all about,” explains Executive Director Yari Velez.  “In addition to personalized tours, we can answer questions about the affordability of assisted living as well as the tax credit program.” She added, “Finding the right place to live for seniors can be a complicated process; our goal is to make the process as easy as possible.”

The open house will be held from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday, December 5 at 201 Captains Row in Chelsea. To RSVP to the open house and/or schedule a private tour, please call Terry Halliday at 98-854-1825 or email thalliday@chesleajewish.org. thalliday@chelseajewish.org

Chelsea Jewish Lifecare, a highly respected leader in senior living, employs over 1200 people and provides care to over 800 individuals daily, with campuses in Chelsea and Peabody, MA. Offering a full continuum of services, Chelsea Jewish Lifecare (www.chelseajewish.org) is redefining senior care and re-envisioning what life should be like for those living with disabling conditions. The eldercare community includes a wide array of skilled and short-term rehab residences, ALS and MS specialized care residences, traditional and specialized assisted living options, memory care, independent living, adult day health, geriatric care management, home care, personal care and hospice agencies that deliver customized and compassionate care.

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Economic Independence:Chelsea Among Four Housing Authorities to Receive $389,000 in Planning Grants

Economic Independence:Chelsea Among Four Housing Authorities to Receive $389,000 in Planning Grants

Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito announced a total of $389,000 in planning and predevelopment grants for Housing Authorities in Chelsea, Gloucester, New Bedford and Taunton to pursue implementation of Worcester Housing Authority-pioneered ‘A Better Life’ programming.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and State Housing Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay present a grant to City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and CHA Executive Director Al Ewing and Assistant Director Diane Cohen to help bring the ‘A Better Life’ program to Chelsea.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and State Housing Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay present a grant to City Manager Thomas Ambrosino and CHA Executive Director Al Ewing and Assistant Director Diane Cohen to help bring the ‘A Better Life’ program to Chelsea.

The program catalyzes economic independence and self-sufficiency by providing families and residents access to support services, educational opportunity and employment, while encouraging debt reduction and home ownership.

“Our administration is committed to pursuing community programming that works, and allowing others to learn from and build on its success,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Worcester’s ‘A Better Life’ program is providing families guidance and access to the services and employment or educational opportunities that allow them to move towards long-term economic independence. We look forward to seeing others implement the program for their families and communities.”

A Better Life (ABL) at the Worcester Housing Authority pairs participating families and residents with a Family Life Coach to conduct a comprehensive assessment of residents’ needs and helps to create a collaborative “family development plan.” This plan helps families map out short and long-term goals in focus areas of employment, financial literacy and education. Participants continue to receive support to discuss progress and accomplishments, and are given access to services through partner providers. Additionally, Worcester Housing Authority employs a full-time employment manager, who works with regional employers to help match participants to job opportunities.

Lt. Governor Polito joined Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay, Worcester Housing Authority Executive Director Alex Corrales and local officials in Worcester for the announcement.

“I am thrilled to announce the expansion of A Better Life, and I want to congratulate the Worcester Housing Authority on creating a program that profoundly benefits the lives of residents and families,” said Lt. Governor Polito. “These awards will give more housing authorities the resources to create their own programming that will support families on the road to economic self-sufficiency and improve access to educational, financial and employment opportunities.”

“Our public housing authorities provide critical housing in the Commonwealth, and affect the lives of thousands of families and residents,” said Chrystal Kornegay, Housing and Community Development Undersecretary. “A Better Life leverages those existing touch points, and provides profoundly effective services to residents, and we are proud to partner with housing authorities to test its effectiveness at other sites.”

Since the program was implemented in 2015, more than 200 residents have taken part in ABL. A Better Life has supported families and residents in pursuing significant accomplishments in employment, education and financial success. Employment among participants has increased by 62 percent, and they have seen an overall increase of gross annual income by 76 percent. Worcester’s participants have completed a collective 106 educational programs: 57 certifications, 12 associate degrees and five bachelor degrees. Additionally, ABL participants have reduced their overall debt by 30 percent, and those who have graduated the program have seen an even more significant reduction, at 75 percent.

These grants will give the Chelsea Housing Authority resources to design, plan, and prepare to implement the ABL program. CHA will create strategies to capture program performance, an implementation timeline and recruit service provider partners to offer critical support services to residents.

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Councillor Tejada Gets Heat Again for Social Media Post

By Seth Daniel

For the second time this year, a few angry residents have taken to a City Council meeting to castigate Councillor Luis Tejada for an allegedly offensive posting made on social media.

Chelsea Collaborative Executive Director Gladys Vega and two other Collaborative members, including School Committeewoman Yessenia Alfaro Alvarez, took over the Public Speaking portion of Monday night’s meeting to sharply criticize Tejada for a recent posting on social media regarding immigration – specifically objecting to his use of the term ‘anchor babies’ within the post.

“As a city councillor using that term, it was extremely offensive and shame on him,” said Vega. “He should have a public meeting and explain himself…Those who come here, their reality is devastating. They are coming here because they are in desperate situations. Shame on Luis Tejada…Let’s make sure the next election, he doesn’t get back in office.”

Tejada, who was not at the meeting when the objections were made, told the Record he is away on a business conference in New York all week, and he didn’t want to respond to the criticism until he had a chance to view what was said on the recording.

He said the posting was made in response to video that showed former President Bill Clinton making similar statements about immigration in the 1990s as Donald Trump is making now.

A paper copy of the posting handed out by Vega indicated that Tejada was posting on a video that was shared by Planning Board member Todd Taylor regarding comments made about his opinion on immigration in 1995.

The post read in full, “I’m with you Todd Taylor. The fact is that illegal immigration is illegal and just because people choose to use fluff words like undocumented or do things like have anchor babies doesn’t lessen the crime. But we are becoming the anything goes country. Where anything goes and even if it pollutes the culture we must take it, otherwise we are racist bigots, etc. Shame on those who are selling our country out.”

Collaborative member Sylvia Ramirez pointed out that Tejada’s mother was an immigrant from Colombia, though she did not immigrate to the U.S. illegally.

“I am truly, truly ashamed that I need to call him one of our Latino newly elected councillors,” she said. “His mother is an immigrant…It is too bad the words he used to express himself. We need an explanation as a city about what he said.”

Alfaro Alvarez said she came across the border as a teen-ager without documentation, and though she did later legalize her immigration status, she came for the same reasons – to escape violence and fear.

She said Tejada should be careful about using social media.

“Here in Chelsea, the majority of us are from Central America,” she said. “Believe it or not, social media is a powerful took and it can embrace you or destroy you.”

Taylor, who was at the meeting, also addressed the issue during Public Speaking.

“It seems to me that people said he should be ashamed that he is Latino,” said Taylor. “I heard that if you are Latino, you have to believe like all other Latinos. That isn’t free speech. That sounds like bullying. Immigration is complex. It isn’t easy. I urge us to have an open conversation about the issue.”

Tejada found himself in trouble with social media earlier this year when he posted some responses to the new transgender law that was passed, asking what parents are supposed to do when they see a man go into the women’s bathroom with their kids. That triggered an angry letter from one member of the community, and disappointment from a few others, and also a public apology from Tejada.

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MassDot Moves Forward On All Electronic Tolling for Tobin, Tunnels, Turnpike

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Board acted Monday to move ahead with plans to completely demolish Interstate 90 toll plazas by the end of 2017 as a milestone in the state’s progress toward All Electronic Tolling (AET) along Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike), the Tobin Bridge, and Boston tunnels.

For Chelsea purposes, State Rep. Dan Ryan said there would be no alteration or changes to the Bridge Discount Program offered to Chelsea residents, whereby they pay $.30 instead of $3 for being a host community.

At Monday’s Board meeting, MassDOT announced that AET will “go live” on October 28.

A series of seven public hearings has been scheduled for public input, with the only meetings in the Boston area being at North Shore Community College in Lynn on Sept. 7 at 6:30 p.m., and another at the Jackson Mann School in Allston on Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

The Board approved toll demolition contracts, reviewed data security and retention proposals and instructed MassDOT to proceed with public hearings on proposed toll rates designed to be revenue neutral and minimize changes in toll charges for current commuters.

“The AET system will improve driver convenience and safety and reduce greenhouse gas-causing vehicle emissions,” said MassDOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “When toll booths have been removed, AET will allow drivers to maintain regular highway speed as they pass under AET gantries, eliminating the need for drivers to sharply reduce speed and idle in toll booth lines.”

The Board-approved contracts provide that tolls booths will begin to be demolished as soon as AET goes live and all work to remove toll plazas and reconstruct roadways is to be completed by the end of 2017.

While the decision on gantry locations was based on a 2012 study and the decision to implement AET was made in 2014, MassDOT officials have been working with the predetermined gantry locations to make sure rates at the new gantries remain “revenue neutral,” meaning that total revenue generated both on the Western Turnpike (I-90 from the New York border to Weston) and the Metropolitan Highway System will be approximately the same as with current tolls.

Proposed rates will extend discounts for users of Commonwealth of Massachusetts-issued E-ZPass transponders, currently available only at the Weston and Allston/Brighton tolls, to every gantry location including the Tobin Bridge and airport tunnels. The rates being proposed for public review provide that the cost of driving from one end of I-90 to the other for E-ZPassMA users will drop from the current rate of $6.60 to $6.15.

“In developing proposed AET rates and policies, we worked with the gantries’ predetermined locations and considered a series of plans and models to develop a revenue neutral toll strategy in an effort to keep changes in the cost of specific commuting trips modest, within five or ten cents of current rates,” said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We look forward to the public’s input on toll charges before the Board votes to finalize rates on October 6.”

Point-to-point tolls may change because of the location of gantries selected by the previous Administration and because there will be 16 gantries with the AET system compared with 26 toll plaza locations now. Under the proposed gantry toll rates presented today, just over half of all drivers would see their tolls either decrease or remain the same and another 20 percent of drivers would see an increase of five or ten cents per trip. Under proposed rates, higher increases would occur on trips that are currently un-tolled, for example, for travel in tunnels headed to the airport or for those drivers in the Newton area where a toll had been removed. The proposed gantry rates will be the subject of seven public hearings and a public comment period beginning after Labor Day.

The Board was also briefed about existing and proposed policies to restrict the usage and retention of data collected by gantries. Current law requires subpoenas for authorities to access driver data, mirroring the existing policies for the Massachusetts E-ZPass system. MassDOT is working with the Executive Office of Public Safety to establish clear policies for the use and retention of AET data. MassDOT is in discussions with public safety officials about the very limited circumstances in which AET-generated “Hot List” or other information could be used in the case of public safety emergencies.

MassDOT officials estimate that the agency will save about $5 million in annual operating costs with AET. The cost of designing and building the physical AET system is about $130 million and toll plaza removal and reconstruction, excluding the Sumner Tunnel, will cost about $133 million.

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Local Help for Small Business Training and Assistance

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has selected the Hispanic-American Institute as one of five providers of training and assistance to small and minority businesses seeking to contract for the construction phase of new casinos under development in Everett and Springfield.

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission awarded the project to the Institute in view of its track record of reaching out to minority, woman-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. The Institute is teaming up with the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and Social Capital, Inc. to provide training and assistance on the certification process and other aspects of disadvantaged business participation in state contracts.

“The Institute is already helping Wynn Everett identify qualified contractors to work on its $2 billion construction project,” said Nader Acevedo, Executive Vice President of the Institute. Nader has a long history of helping New England small businesses secure contracts and financing, and has been recognized as one of Boston’s most influential Latinos by El Planeta newspaper for twelve consecutive years.

“We look forward to working with the Institute and Social Capital on this valuable opportunity for small businesses to participate in one of the largest construction projects in the region”, said Sergio Jaramillo, President of the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce. The Chelsea Chamber will lead the effort to involve other area Chambers of Commerce in the project.

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Congratulations,East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

We congratulate the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center on being named as one of the “Top Places To Work” in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe.

What a great honor it was for EBNHC Chief Executive Officer Manny Lopes, Chair Rita Sorrento, Human Resources Director Linda Dailey, Chief Medical Director Jackie Fuentes, and Vice President of Operations Lili Silva to accept the award during the formal presentation ceremony.

Certainly this prestigious award given by New England’s largest daily newspaper reflects well on the leadership of Lopes and his administrative team.

Lopes said that “a close-knit community culture and a passion that our employees have for making a difference in the lives of our patients that making working here special.”

The Globe praised EBNHC for “its innovative ways to engage and motivate their workers, which often serves as a key factor in innovation and leads to better professional performance.”

EBNHC has been a tremendous contributor to many local organizations, not only with its actions and its support, but with the presence of Manny Lopes and EBHNC employees such as Michael Nicastro and others at various events in our community.

We are pleased that the Globe has brought this favorable recognition to EBNHC, one of the largest employers in the area.

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A Successful Candidates Forum

The Chelsea Record and Chelsea Collaborative joint Candidate Forum on Monday night was by all accounts a great success.

It was also the first of its kind in Chelsea where a private sector media company joined hands with a non-profit human services agency to promote better knowledge of the candidates up for election or re-election next week, and to enhance civic participation.

There were some skeptics, naturally, who felt neither the newspaper nor the Collaborative could host such a thing and be fair about it all.

From the beginning of the planning for this effort, this partnership sought to prove them wrong.

On Monday night, their fears should have been put to rest – both those who were there and those that chose not to come. Such partnerships in many different forms are just part of the dawning of an even newer Chelsea.

Things are not just changing at City Hall or in the development world or on Everett Avenue.

That said, the stars of the show were the candidates themselves – both from School Committee and from the City Council District and at-Large races.

The questions were tough and they were random and the candidates had no idea what to expect beforehand.

Virtually everyone who participated answered completely and with a good amount of thought and knowledge of the issues in Chelsea. This is one of the more impressive groups of candidates that a Chelsea election has fielded in quite a long time.

Civic participation is up, and that’s good to see after so many years of disinterest, lack of information or just low priorities. Certainly, it’s hard to be concerned about City politics when one has to figure out where their next meal will come from or how they’re going to make it through a freezing cold day in an apartment without any heat.

But times are changing and circumstances for people who have been in Chelsea for some time, in many cases, are improving. Now those folks, and the folks who always had a sense of civic responsibility, are getting involved.

The voters will have some careful thinking to do before they go to the polls next Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The choices will be tough, as evidenced by the thoughtful answers of all who participated in the forum on Monday.

If one missed the forum, there’s still a chance to see it on Chelsea Cable. Make sure to tune in before you cast your vote on Tuesday.

Beyond that, there is a debt of gratitude owed to the Chelsea Schools for allowing this partnership to use the Mary C. Burke Auditorium and to be so accommodating in setting up. Kudos go to Supt. Mary Bourque and David Ferraro of the Burke.

We also must thank Chelsea Cable Executive Director Robert “Duke” Bradley for filming and broadcasting the entire event.

The Chelsea Police were also kind enough to send an officer to monitor the event and the school grounds in case something were to happen – which it didn’t.

The information is out there.

Now it’s up to the voters.

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Chelsea Record,Collaborative to Sponsor Candidate Forum Oct 26

The Chelsea Record and the Chelsea Collaborative have agreed this week to sponsor a candidates’ forum at the Burke Complex auditorium on Monday, Oct. 26, for City Council and School Committee candidates.

The forum will seek to include all candidates and to ask questions of candidates in contested races. The goal is to familiarize the public with the candidates and their stances in one of the most hotly contested elections in some time.

The forum is open to the public and will be broadcast on Chelsea Cable TV as well. Parking is available in the school parking lot.

“We are pleased to co-sponsor this forum with the Chelsea Collaborative so that the voters in Chelsea can learn more about the candidates and their positions on the issues,” said Stephen Quigley, president of the Independent Newspaper Group. “Civic engagement is necessary as Chelsea moves forward under new leadership.”

Collaborative Executive Director Gladys Vega said forums are important in order to have voters who can hold their representatives accountable.

“I think we as community residents need to gather information from our candidates because when there is information, there is justification and hope,” said Vega. “If we don’t talk about the issues we are not acknowledging the responsibility we all have to built a better Chelsea. By holding these forums we are providing more information about the candidates to the voters, we are not only empowering our voters but also our residents. We all need to share the responsibility of keeping political officials accountable so they don’t abuse their power.”

The School Committee portion of the forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

After an introduction, all candidates will answer a first question that will serve as an opening statement, and will have one minute to do so. Those participating will be candidates in contested and non-contested races.

There are three contested races on School Committee.

Following that, two questions on the issues will be asked of only those candidates in contested races. Those same candidates will also be afforded a 30 second closing statement.

Then at 6:30 p.m., a 90-minute City Council forum will begin.Once again, after a brief introduction, all Council candidates – including district and at-large candidates in both contested and non-contested races- will answer the first question, which will act as an opening statement.

Following that, only candidates in contested races will participate in the questioning.

Only three district seats are uncontested.

There will be three rounds of questions asked.

The first two rounds will have questions asked by the panel, with candidates getting one minute to answer.

The third round will include a “lightening round” of questions – where candidates get only 30 seconds to answer questions.

For the at-large race, each candidate will get a different question.

For the district races, there will be one question per district so that answers can be compared.

Finally, each candidate in a contested race will get a 30 second closing statement.

None of the candidates will have the questions in advance, and a representative from the Record and from the Collaborative will ask the questions.

The forum is expected to conclude at 8 p.m.

The forum owes a debt of gratitude to the Chelsea Public Schools for allowing the use of the school, and to Chelsea Cable for broadcasting the program.

BOX OFF SIDEBAR –

Do you have an idea for a question?

The Chelsea Record and the Chelsea Collaborative are soliciting questions from the public to possibly be used in the Oct. 26 candidates’ forum.

If you have a question on any City issue that’s been bugging or perplexing you about local government or the schools, please submit it via e-mail to seth@reverejournal.com. Include the words ‘Question for Forum’ in the subject line. If it’s a good question, we’ll ask it of the candidates on Monday. Please feel free to submit one or more questions.

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Area Activist Fran Rowan Dies at 79

Fran Rowan, who spent a lifetime selflessly helping the people of East Boston with kindness and charity, has died.

Rowan, a local legend who possessed the uncanny ability to make most people around her believe in the causes she was fighting for because those causes were simply the right thing to do, died on Thursday, September 3 following a long illness. She was 79 years old.

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Fran Rowan,” said longtime friend and collaborator City Councilor Sal LaMattina. “She was a huge advocate for East Boston and worked tirelessly for the betterment of our community, particularly with her work at the Meridian House. I was privileged to have known her throughout my life. Fran was also a huge fan of the Grateful Dead, like myself, so we shared an even deeper connection because of that. East Boston is a better neighborhood today because of Fran Rowan. She has left her mark on the community and will be sorely missed”.

Over the years Rowan was the master of convincing the community that it needed to rally around something because it was right, it was good, that it made sense and would help people and save lives.

Whether it was co-founding the Meridian House, a widely successful drug abuse treatment center or the Atlantic Works Artist Building on Border Street or the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Rowan could make the hardest skeptics believers.

“The passing of Fran Rowan is very sad,” said North Suffolk Mental Health Executive Director Jackie Moore. “She served on the NSMHA Board of Directors with distinction. She was a passionate advocate for the community services of all kind and she had a special place in her heart for the suffering addict. Fran dedicated herself to the expansion of addiction treatment services.”

In 2013 Rowan was honored at the Don Orione Nursing Home for her lifetime of service to the community. In return, Rowan, as she always did in an act of selfless gratitude, launched an art project at the Don Orione.

Rowan, who suffered a minor stroke in July of that year, had been at the Don Orione recuperating. While there she noticed something needed to be done with the bare walls inside the home to make it more warm and welcoming.

Rowan was never been the type to sit around and complain waiting for someone else to do something.

So Rowan did what she has always done when she gets her mind set on accomplishing something. She rolled up her sleeves, rounded up supporters, got donations from friends and began a project to have the Don Orione’s walls adorned with original works of art by local artists.

Fran’s Wall of Hope opened that year and is an ongoing project to fill the Don Orione with art.

Rowan donated the first 7 photos, paintings and prints from her personal collection and hopes others in the community will do the same.

“I want to thank the housekeeping, aides, nurses and social workers here for their kindness and attention during my recovery and also for their support and guidance,” said Rowan at the time. “This exhibit was born the last time I was here and I want to thank those who have helped make it a reality and my sons for their patience with me with this idea. Fran’s Wall of Hope is a dream come true and I welcome other artist of the community to add to exhibit as a sign of peace and hope for all. God gives us art creativity to share with world let us inspire the seniors with our special gift.”

“Fran (Rowan) was a titan of community activism leaving an indelible mark on East Boston,” said Rep. Adrian Madaro. “Whether it was advocating for youth, the arts, or those in need, Fran touched the lives of countless residents. Not only was she a tireless advocate, she was known for her compassion and loyalty. She was a mover and a shaker and is sorely missed by all.”

A steward of the arts in Eastie, Rowan founded the Atlantic Works Artist Building at 80 Border Street that blossomed into a thriving artist’s lofts that host community events throughout the year.

She was also one of the first supporters in the neighborhood to champion what was at the time a relatively new and unknown music and performing arts program. Rowan soon joined the board of Zumix and helped shape its early formation.

“Fran Rowan was one of the first people we met when we moved to East Boston,” said Zumix’s Founder and Executive Director Madeleine Steczynski. “She was a community activist, an advocate for the arts, and a champion for underserved youth – particularly those who struggled. She joined our fledgling organization as a member of our first Board of Directors. She helped connect Zumix with institutions and leaders in the neighborhood, and taught us to believe in ourselves. We owe so much to this wonderful woman, and we will miss her dearly. But her spirit carries on in every note played, every song sung, and every scale learned by young musicians at Zumix.”

Petruccelli added that, “Fran Rowan dedicated her life to the people in the community that were traditional overlooked and underserved. Her impact on our community is something we should all strive to accomplish.”

There is one thing that Rowan will be remembered for and was something she said in every corner of the neighborhood to all who listened.

“She taught us it doesn’t take much to be nice,” said her son Danny Rowan. “If everyone gave a little more than they took we’d all be okay.”

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Potential for Greatness:Former Football Star Shaquor Sandiford is Working at CRC and Helping Youths

Shaquor Sandiford was once one of Chelsea’s brightest football prospects. The former Chelsea Pop Warner star followed through on that potential by becoming an Independent School League (ISL) All-Star quarterback at the Rivers School and a Division 1 college recruit.

A two-sport standout at Rivers, the 6-foot-3-inch Sandiford was the captain of the school’s football basketball teams – and yes, he can dunk.

Sandiford led Rivers to its first ISL football title since 1915, earning All-New England honors in the process. One of the highlights came when he competed in the Norm Walker Bowl at Gillette Stadium (Rivers lost 36-28 to Pingree on a blocked field goal return for a touchdown).

Sandiford’s spectacular career attracted the attention of many college programs and he eventually chose Springfield College. But he decided to leave college and pursue his entrepreneurial goals within network marketing and building up his personal brand.

“I just felt at that point in my life I could achieve more by gaining some real life experiences,” he said.

Sandiford is back in the city working at Chelsea Restoration Corporation as a full-time rehabilitation specialist. He is also involved in first-time homebuyer courses, foreclosure prevention counseling, and qualifying families for home improvement loans.

“Chelsea Restoration Corporation (CRC) is a great place to learn about the housing industry,” said Sandiford. “I love working with [Executive Director] Helen Zuzzo. She’s brilliant. I’ve learned so much from her during my time at Chelsea Restoration.”

The 21-year-old son of Sheanah McCarthy, Shaquor lost his father, Chris Sandiford, during his junior year at Rivers. Mr. Sandiford, a native of Barbados, succumbed to cancer.

“It was definitely tough losing my dad,” said Sandiford. “But it was also a chance for me to grow up a little bit. I had to make a lot of decisions. I felt that I was like a father of three with my brother (Asante) and my two sisters (Amira and Hadiya). I try to be their role model.”

As a youth, Sandiford was a member of the Jordan Boys and Girls Club where he met Josh Kraft, executive director of the club.

“Josh and others at the club helped me stay on track with their behavioral guidance,” said Sandiford. “The club kept me off the streets and it inspired me to help other teens find a place to go after school. I’ve always wanted to do something similar to a Boys and Girls Club and put kids in a positive environment.”

An aspiring real estate investor, Sandiford is preparing to teach a first-time home buying course for CRC. He is pursuing a real estate broker’s license.

A talented rapper and a manager in the entertainment industry, Sandiford is also busy rolling out his “inspirational organization,” for youth and

Shaquor Sandiford.

Shaquor Sandiford.

teens that is called Unlocking Potential. He has mentored students from Rivers, JAB Step Inc., and Excel Academy and is seeking to do more volunteer work at some of the non-profit agencies in Chelsea.

“My mission right now [with Unlocked Potential] is to inspire youth and teens to reach their full potential,” said Sandiford. “Our main focus is personal development, community engagement, and mentorship. I want to help people move forward and cope with different situations. I want to use my voice to uplift others.”

Shaquor Sandiford was once that Chelsea kid that he now hopes to help find his path in life.

The son of Sheanah McCarthy and the late Chris Sanf

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