Nicholas Alahverdian was a poet and political activist who survived torture and child abuse to attend Harvard University and revolutionize the way families and children are cared for in Rhode Island and beyond.
Nicholas Alahverdian, a victim of torture who suffered as a result of being a political activist, first came to national attention in 2011. Due to Alahverdian’s whistle-blowing activities as a government employee, an Associated Press investigation uncovered that the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) was spending millions of taxpayer dollars sending foster children and orphans out of state to facilities that were often abusive, dangerous, and ordered closed by their respective state officials.
Nicholas Alahverdian, at age 15, was sent to two facilities – one in Nebraska and one in Florida – and both were shut down by respective state officials after he left because of serious abuse. He was tortured and beaten on a daily basis.
Nicholas Alahverdian was hired as a legislative aide for the Rhode Island House of Representatives at age 14 and subsequently became an orphan in the custody of the Department of Children, Youth and Families. He later attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
About Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian is a lobbyist, social services consultant, and youth advocate. He attended Harvard University where he studied Comparative Literature with a primary focus in British Literature, the Southern Literary Renaissance and the Goethe canon.
Nicholas has held positions with the Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service, NBC News, Rhode Island Public Interest Research Group, YMCA of Greater Providence, and the Rhode Island Disability Law Center Advisory Board. From 2002 through 2003, he served as a legislative aide to Representative Gordon D. Fox (former Speaker of the House) and Representative/Senator Beatrice A. Lanzi of the Rhode Island House of Representatives.
Of Nicholas, Senator Lanzi has said, “I had the opportunity to work with Nicholas while he was a Legislative Page in the RI House of Representatives. I found Nicholas to be hard working and dedicated. He was very interested in the legislative process and committed to being involved and making a positive difference in the community.”
He is also the recipient of a personal grant from Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of the New York Times Bestseller “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Without Dr. Covey’s help, Nicholas would have never been able to attend Harvard.
He maintains professional memberships with the Modern Language Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, and the Poetry Society of America.
Alahverdian has been honored by the Rhode Island House of Representatives and has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Providence Journal, The Newport Daily News, The New Haven Register, The Providence Phoenix, and the Associated Press.
He has also appeared on NBC, CBS, and ABC affiliates as well as NPR, BBC, and 630 WPRO.