RIC grad heads to Washington, D.C., to work for Rep. Cicilline

Raymonde Charles
Freshman congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) has one of RIC’s own working with him in Washington, D.C.

Raymonde Charles, who graduated from RIC in May 2010, began a full-time job in March as a press assistant and grant coordinator for the congressman.

As press assistant, she will develop press announcements related to the programs in the state that are successful in applying for federal grants, holidays and other commemorative events. As Cicilline’s grant coordinator, she will focus on getting federal assistance for programs in need.

Charles added that it is important to help Rhode Island agencies find federal opportunities to continue to do their work in these current “tough budget times.” While in Washington, she will work directly with state agencies to apply for federal grant opportunities.

“I get to work for a congressman that I respect and do work that I love,” Charles said.

Prior to working for Cicilline, Charles was employed by Rhode Island Kid’s Count, an organization that works to improve the health, safety, education, economic security and development of the children in the state.

Charles began at Kid’s Count as an intern, moving up the ranks to program assistant, and finally, communications coordinator. Her responsibilities included handling media releases, managing the website and electronic newsletters, organizing and marketing major events and providing research and writing for the annual Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook.

She explained that many of her skills used at Kid’s Count will be transferable to her work in Cicilline’s press office.

Charles took the long road in her educational journey, studying political science at RIC for nine years while working full-time.

“RIC made that very easy for me because of the great evening classes they offer,” she said.

She cited a course in media relations taught by Jane Fusco, director of RIC's Office of News and Public Relations, as particularly helpful in preparing her for her career.

“In [Fusco’s] class, there was certainly an emphasis on verbal and written communication skills, as well as building and maintaining relationships with the media,” said Charles. “Those were key skills that helped with my job with RI Kids count, and will help me [in my] work in the press office with the congressman.”