PAWTUCKET  U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) issued the following statement today:

“I’m saddened and heartbroken by the passing of my friend, Jorge Cardenas. Our state has truly lost a gentle giant and champion.”

“A native of Peru, Jorge was a community leader whose passion for service, particularly in the area of education, was contagious. I met Jorge during my time as a state representative through his “back to school” initiative.”

“Every year Jorge and his team worked hard to ensure that every child in our city had a backpack with supplies before they returned to school. His vision quickly expanded state wide and this gentle giant’s vision became everyone’s. People from across the state embraced it and joined in, supporting Jorge and the “back to school” project.”

“Jorge’s vision to better the lives of our most precious didn’t stop there, he also founded the back to school annual breakfast where over the years, hundreds of scholarships were awarded to youth on their way to college.”

“Jorge’s legacy will carry on and his work will continue through the many leaders he inspired. He will be missed and remembered as a kind soul that loved his family and the community he served.”