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Faces Of New Bedford #201: Izaiah Baretto

Meet Izaiah Baretto, 26-year-old Personal Training Manager and Functional Training Instructor. Izaiah grew up in the Ben Rose Garden Apartments in the South First Neighborhood, which was riddled with gang-violence and lack of guidance, leaving him in a difficult place. He got involved in sports at a young age at Dennison Memorial, in hopes to keep himself away from trouble but he found himself walking the line between both until he had his first child at 18.

Knowing he needed to do better for the future of his family, Izaiah removed himself from a lifestyle that could have led to destruction and begin focusing on one thing he always loved, staying active. Working out at a local gym, he was encouraged by management and other members to get into training, as he was always gifted with strength and the willingness to help others while he was there. After a while, he took their advice and got his first certifications and began training in that gym.

Fast forward to today and Izaiah is continuing to chase his passions in fitness and helping others. As a Person Training Manager with a local gym, while teaching classes at other gyms, he has also earned himself a handful of certifications, allowing him to teach group classes and function training, which focuses on exercises that allow individuals to perform activities of daily life more easily and without injury.

Izaiah hopes to be able to open his own gym in the neighborhood he grew up in and being a role model to the youth there, showing them that they don’t have to become the product of their environment.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #200: Dylan Fagundes

Meet Dylan Fagundes, 26-year-old Project Manager at DeMello International Center and owner of Fagundes Realty LLC. Dylan always found himself to be entrepreneurial, saving his allowance in high school to buy equipment to preform odd jobs to be able to landscape, roof, tile, and make general repairs for anyone looking for a one stop shop of services. One of his clients, James DeMello, saw his drive and hired him to help maintain properties other than his home.

Over the years, this relationship grew and led to more opportunities for Dylan. As a student in the UMass Dartmouth Business program, he started obtaining the tools to be able to expand his growing network of clients and jobs. While at Umass, he began taking on more properties to maintain, while continuing to work with Mr. DeMello.

In 2016, after Mr. DeMello purchased the now DeMello International Center, he appointed Dylan as the Project Manager. Randy, along with his superior, wanted to see center become a hub for the Southcoast and worked to bring the occupancy up from 9% to fully occupied. Dylan oversees the security team at the center, as well as working with vendors, tenants, and local businesses to host job fairs and chamber events.

Not only is Dylan busy helping run the downtown hub, but also manages multiple residential properties throughout the city, including one of his own through Fagundes Really LLC. Dylan is currently working toward obtaining his Realtors license, in hopes to offer his clients the ability to also assist them in buying and selling their properties.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #199: Ron Dauplaise

Meet Ron Dauplaise, 31-year-old Welder, Custom Fabricator and creator of the ShredyRack. Like most teens, Ron was unsure of what he wanted to do after high school until he started working at his father’s welding shop. After a few years of work with his father at Precision Welding, he knew he loved fabricating and creating.

After graduating from New Bedford High School, he continued on to the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to study Marketing, in the hopes of helping develop his father’s company further. During his time at Umass, he was able to attain the knowledge he used to develop the companies websites, which tremendously helped grow the business.

Ron has always been an extreme sports enthusiast, frequently traveling to Vermont and New Hampshire for snowboarding and kayaking trips with his friends. During one trip, he became tired of cramming his friends and their gear into his Impreza and started thinking of ways he could free up space. Using the abilities he had learned in all of his time welding, he began work on his very first ShredyRack, a roof-mounted system that can hold not only your skis, snowboards, bikes, and boats but also your packs and bags, freeing up space in your vehicle.

After a year of testing and tweaking, he had a product he was comfortable with. After hearing about Southcoast EForAll from its Executive Director, Jeremiah Hernandez, he enrolled in order to solidify a game plan for his company. He hopes to be able to work with social media influencers to grow his customer base and start shipping orders for ShredyRack this upcoming season.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #198: Carlos Chamorro

Meet Carlos Chamorro, 31-year-old Graphic Designer. Carlos grew up in Fort Meyers, but relocated to New Bedford after high school to be closer to the rest of his family.

After arriving in the city, he began working at The Landing Gift Shop located in New Bedford’s Historical District and immediately fell in love with the city. Carlos worked as a seamster. He later developed a fondness for the arts and decided he wanted to become part of the community. He suggested to the owner to design shirts for all the different type of customers that came in. Through lots of trial and error, Carlos was able to teach himself the software allowing him to collaborate with the tourists and fishermen solidified relationships.

Carlos shares the great history of New Bedford to all the tourists that come from all over the world. He also works to provide fishermen with gear and clothing from Maine down to Virginia.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #197: Eric Santos

Meet Eric “Ewreckage” Santos, 19-year-old college student and musical artist. Eric knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the education system, so after graduating from Global Learning Charter Public School, he enrolled in the English/Secondary Education program at Bridgewater State University. He credits GLCPS for providing him an environment where he could express himself creatively, and ultimately spark his musical ambitions.

While studying for his courses and working at the YMCA as a lifeguard, he decided to take his passion for writing and use it to start song writing. Although he was writing songs, he didn’t feel confident enough to sing them, so with inspiration from artists like DJ Khaled and Benny Blanco, he decided to seek out musicians to help him bring his vision to life.

After finding a vocalist from Australia, he produced his first song “Ocean” in September of 2018, which through promotion and social media, was able to chart at #65 on the Turkish iTunes charts. This inspired him to get right back to work and release his first EP “Saudade” earlier this March. He chose the name “Saudade” as a tribute towards his Portuguese ancestry, and because it’s meaning reflects a theme of the EP. “Saudade” has since accumulated over 25,000 streams on Spotify, and his Instagram account has grown to 11,000 followers. He hopes to continue growing and developing as an artist, eventually performing in the future, as well as continuing on his path to become an English teacher.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #196: James Perry

Meet James Perry, 30-year-old Program Retention Counselor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. James grew up in New Bedford and when he was in high school, he wasn’t sure he would ever attend university. He had a 2.2 GPA and because he was a quiet student, he never spoke up when he didn’t understand something and suffered alone as many students do.

After being introduced to the College Now Program, which focuses on helping first-generation and low-income students enroll in college, he was enrolled at Umass Dartmouth. For the first time he was excelling in school but due to unfortunate financial circumstances, he was forced to take time off from school.

James didn’t let this defeat him though, as he immediately started volunteering with Child and Family Services, which led to a full-time position as a therapeutic mentor. Soon after, he was enrolled at Fisher College, taking online classes toward his Bachelors Degree and then going on to finish his Master’s Degree where his college career began, Umass Dartmouth.

Today, James works for the program that first afforded him an opportunity at higher education, as the Program Retention Counselor for the College Now Program at UMass Dartmouth. His responsibilities include recruiting high school students for the programs, as well as equipping the students in the program with the resources and guidance to make it through their time at school.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #195: Djecy Ramos

Meet Djecy Ramos, 37-year-old Sales Representative, and Photographer. Djecy was born in Cape Verde and didn’t move to the United States until he finished high school. While in Cape Verde, he picked up photography when his friends started a band, knowing he wanted to find a way to still be involved in the music scene. His time with photography was short, as he gave it up to pursue college in the United States.

Djecy spent a few years studying Philosophy at Middlesex County College in New Jersey before he knew he wasn’t passionate about it and left college to work. Packing all of his things into his car, he and his girlfriend moved out to New Bedford, where he instantly fell in love with the city and the history the Cape Verdean culture had here.

Shortly after his arrival in New Bedford in 2009, he began working in cell phone sales. He was also reintroduced to his love for photography around the same time, buying his first digital camera shortly after in 2012. Djecy’s passion lies in portraiture, so he specializes in wedding and portrait work, which is how he has been able to grow his business over the last few years. He also gives back with his love for photography, volunteering with Criolas Contra Cancer (Creoles Against Cancer) as a photographer for their yearly events.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #194: Bridgitte Cook

Meet Bridgitte Cook, 46-year-old Heath Center Director at SSTAR Family Healthcare Center. Growing up, Bridgette’s life had been impacted by the effects of mental illness, with her mother committing suicide when she was 8 years old and a father who suffered from schizophrenia.

After graduating from high school, Bridgitte applied to the Diman School of Practical Nursing, as she knew she wanted to help those suffering from mental illness. Upon her completion, she began working at the Dartmouth House of Corrections, where she really saw how many people in prison were struggling with mental health issues and drug addiction, but ended up there because it was the only place for them.

Bridgitte also spent time working at Bridgewater State Correctional Facility as well, which pushed her to go back to school for her RN, so she could really help to service this demographic she held so dearly to her. She received her Associates Degree from Bristol Community College and Bachelor’s Degree from Curry College. Not shortly after, she took on the role of assistant clinic manager with SSTAR, where they focus on not only treating the patient’s mental state but providing a plethora of resources for them.

Bridgitte will be completing her Masters Nursing program this May and hopes to continue to be able to service the community, by empowering and helping those who suffer from mental illness and drug addiction.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #193: Monica Melo

Meet Monica Melo, 33-year-old owner and hairstylist of Salon Gigi. Monica was born in Portugal and moved to New Bedford with her parents when she was one. Growing up, she always had a passion for making people look and feel good.

When it came time for college she attended Bristol Community College, although she knew that she didn’t want to go to college. After a year of school, she dropped out and enrolled in LaBaron Hair Dressing school, where she knew she could pursue her passion. After graduating, she worked for a few years in a handful of salons before taking time off to be home with her newborn children.

Once her children were a little older, she knew she wanted to return to hairdressing but didn’t want to work for someone else. It was in 2014 that she open Salon Gigi, where she has been ever since. For her, it’s not about just doing her clients’ hair, but building a relationship with them and empowering them to be confident and love themselves.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.




Faces Of New Bedford #192: Heather Dextradeur

Meet Heather Dextradeur, 45-year-old Assistant Director at Lifestream and Bridges-To-Faith Coordinator with Better Community Living. Heather got involved with working with the developmentally disabled community when she was 24-years-old, as a student at BCC.

Starting in direct care with Lifestream, she fell in love with her work and has never looked back. She would eventually move on to manage the home she was working in. When she took the position she thought that she would spend her time teaching life skills and things like that, but she has realized how much she has learned from them.

No only does she spend her days working to impact the lives of those developmentally disabled, but she goes home to foster 3 adults who need live-in assistance. She also works with Bridges-to-Faith to help those with mental disabilities to build and foster relationships, no matter the religion they decide to seek.

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Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to colton@coltonsimmons.com. Follow Colton on Instagram: https://instagram.com/simmonscolton

Read more of the Faces of New Bedford series here.

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