Nicholas Alahverdian honored by Woonsocket Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt

Nicholas Alahverdian, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt
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Seal of the City of Woonsocket, Nicholas Alahverdian
Whereas, Nicholas Alahverdian, age 32, author and child welfare reform advocate, died on February 29, 2020, losing his battle with non Hodgkin Lymphoma diagnosed last year following complications with pneumonia. He was surrounded by his loving family including his cherished wife and beloved children; and

Whereas, Nicholas Alahverdian lived a warrior’s life. A fighter in spirit but a peacemaker in practice, Alahverdian survived life in Rhode Island’s child welfare system the Department of Children, Youth and Families, which he fought so hard to reform; and

Whereas, Nicholas overcame significant abuse, deprivation of education, and harmful living conditions. Amazingly he simultaneously worked for the Rhode Island General Assembly as a page and then as a legislative aide. He was able to give lawmakers an eyewitness account of what it was like to grow up in such dangerous state-funded conditions in group homes and shelters; and

Whereas, as a result of his acumen for drawing legislative attention to important issues, Alahverdian suffered the ire of DCYF, where he was sent to Florida and Nebraska and tortured in ways that truly shock the human conscience. Both placements were later shuttered and Nicholas sued his abusers and the state officials responsible for his abuse; and

Whereas, Nicholas attended Harvard University, learning from the best professors in the world, and furthering his life’s work of being the best person he could be in what he saw as an insane yet fixable world. He spent two decades attempting to spark reform of the RI DCYF; and

Whereas, Just two weeks prior to his death, in honor of Nicholas, State Representative Hull along with Rep. Lombardi, Rep. Bennett, and Rep. McLoughlin introduced a bill to create a House of Representatives Oversight Commission on DCYF. The bill is pending in the House with the hope that this year it will pass; and

Whereas, Nicholas’ strength and confidence preceded him, and he poured his spirit and energy into the democratic process in which he so strongly believed; and

Whereas, Nicholas loved sailing, ornithology, painting, and was a voracious reader. He was a devout Roman Catholic. He doted on his children, always a loving father working relentlessly to give them the family and childhood he never had the opportunity to experience. He loved his wife more than life itself, always referring to her affectionately as “My Daisy.”

Therefore, I, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, honor Nicholas Alahverdian and the stellar life lived so well on behalf of the rights of the children in our state, we honor Nicholas with utmost gratitude on Thursday, March 22, 2020.