Who are TRY CAPS 

The idea of TRY CAPS came about as an answer to problems with neighborhood youth and teenagers hanging on corners and disrupting the community. TRY CAPS became the tool to engaging these youth in positive activities and to get them off the neighborhood corners...

Ages 10 up to 18
Youth ages 10 and up will buddy up with volunteers, parents, and mentors to show their leadership skills in action as they explore the great opportunities at TRY CAPS Creative Art and Problem Solving Program.

All abilities welcome
To succeed as adults, youth must acquire adequate attitudes and skills in five areas: Health Personal/Social Knowledge, Reasoning, & Creativity Vocational Citizenship.

Boys & Girls

Our major focus is the total individual and the importance of exposure to all developmental domains. The environment plays an important part in our programming. TRY CAPS provides equal program opportunities without regard to race, age, religion, color national origin, sex or preference, creed or handicap.

Team Spirit
The collaborative efforts of program staff, parents and community makes up our team spirit. It is with this collaborative effort the our program supports the needs of our youth and families. Volunteers are what strengthens our program mission and supports the development of your you.

TRY CAPS IS A 501 (C) (3)

Lets talk

Board Members

The guardians who steer Try CAPS towards a sustainable future

Celeste F. Thomason

Program Director and Founder

Celeste founded TRYCAPS in 1995. Prior to TrY CAPS Creative Art Program, she operated and owned Today’s Child Family Daycare Home, in business since 1988. While attending the Community College of RI, she addressed an immediate need in her neighborhood by creating a grass-roots program called TrY CAPS. Celeste holds a degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a focus on adolescent development from the University of Rhode Island and is a nature and still life photographer. She currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island with her three children and her husband. 

Jennifer Rivas


Serves as the secretary for Trycaps. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelors degree in Community Health and Wellness in 2018. She also served in the U.S. Army from 2004-2009 deploying to Iraq from 05-06. She enjoys serving her community and her family. She currently resides in Providence with her husband and three children.

Dana Derisier


Vanessa Irving


Vanessa serves as a Director on the TrY CAPS Board. She has volunteered for TrYCAPS since 2010 and accepted a leadership role on the board in 2018. Vanessa holds a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Northern Arizona University and works for the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation in the Banking Division. She applies her many talents in coordinating events, grant writing, creating promotional material and liaising with TrYCAPS families.  

Sylvio Gario


Sylvio has been a member of the TRYCAPS board since 2016. He is a Learning Technologist and small business owner. Sylvio has organized educational events and has lead other boards. Since joining TryCAPS Board, Sylvio has helped to standardize board meetings, guided fundraising, and built a web presence. Sylvio lives in East Providence, Rhode Island with his two children and his wife.

Felicia Y. Smith

Director at large

Felicia graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Rhode Island College. She supports fundraising and event planning for TrYCAPS. She has been working in the human service field for 20 years. And she has owned and operated an event-planning and catering business for 10 years. Giving back to her community through collaboration, with organizations and local agencies that work towards equity for all people, are part of her joys in life. Felicia resides in Providence with her husband of 23 years and her son. 

Christina Turner



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