Ron Waddell is the Executive Director and Co Founder of Legendary Legacies. He is a certified transformational life coach through the Association for Christian Character Development, a certified Gang Specialist through The National Gang Crime and Research Center and a Certified Youth Mental Health Specialist.
He is a Certified Recovery Coach and holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Boston University. He has completed and co-facilitated multiple re-entry training inside MA Houses of Corrections. He is present at a number of community and state events and speaks passionately and eloquently about issues affecting marginalized communities.
Ronald has experienced many of the issues that affect the targeted youth participants of the Legacy Builders program, and uses this experience to better relate to marginalized youth throughout the City of Worcester.
Gabriel Rodriguez is the Director of Community Outreach Coordinator for Legendary Legacies Inc., a non-profit in the city of Worcester, MA, dedicated to seeing young men ages 17-24 maximize their potential.
Growing up in Worcester, Gabriel was gang involved for 10+ years and even dealt with periods of incarceration. After his last bid, he committed to make the necessary changes in his life to become a productive citizen. Gabriel is a certified residential and youth care professional. He also holds certificates for gang counseling, and gangs and mental health through the NGCRC.
In addition he holds a certificate from the youth worker training institute at Clark University. He specializes in youth work and has devoted himself to helping youth change their lives and reach their potential. Gabe is currently pursuing a degree in social work at Quinsigamond Community College.
Irelis has a master’s degree in Social Work from Springfield College. She worked with the Worcester Community Corrections Center as a substance abuse counselor facilitating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups. During her time at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, she interned at the Regional Reentry Center. Her time in the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office helped her find her passion for working with recently incarcerated or criminal justice-involved men and women and she recognized that being part of a person’s recovery is a blessing. She is compassionate, creative, and has been dedicated to working in the human service field for the past 7 years and is hopeful to only grow as a social worker and continue working in social justice.
Yetziann Ortiz is a compassionate, dedicated, and driven human service professional. She is relentless in assisting individuals in achieving their full potential. Before joining Legendary Legacies Inc, she was the Program Coordinator for YouthWorks, a summer employment program that places 250 young people a year at community partners across the city of Worcester. She seamlessly incorporates her experience as an educator into her program design efforts. She successfully designed and launched the Legacy Voting program focusing on educating young men to increase civic engagement. As the Program Coordinator for Legacy Links, she is the hub of communication between community partners and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and a minor in Early Childhood Education. She is also a passionate advocate for Autism Awareness.
Crisis Response Team Coordinator
Tee Freeman holds an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Queensborough Community College and a Bachelor Degree in Forensic Psychology from JohnJay College of Criminal Justice. In her role as the CRTC, she is responsible for coordinating a strategic response to gun or knife violence that impacts our target population to mitigate retaliatory violence and promote healing. Tee is in her third year of a Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Clark University.
Jorge is the Director of Programming and Co Founder of Legendary Legacies. He holds a certificate from Clark University’s Youth Worker Training Institute, and additional certifications from the NGCRC in gangs and mental health and gang reconciliation.
He also has completed the necessary requirements to receive a certificate in Juvenile Justice Ministry from Gordon College.
Life Coach/ Navigator
John has 20 years of experience in the Correctional field. John has an Associate of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Ma, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences with a Concentration in Criminal Justice from Assumption University in Worcester, Ma. He is certified in Assisting Individuals in Crisis and in Group Intervention, through (ICISF) International Critical Incident Stress Foundation Inc. John is also certified in CPR/First Responder and AED.
John has a passion for helping young black and Latino men change the narrative on how their lives should look in our society today. John believes by showing them a strong positive male presence, which includes fostering fatherhood, brotherhood, mentorship, and letting them know that taking care of their mental health is by far one of the most important things they can do to become successful.