Brother Michael Reis was born and raised in Queens, NY. He received his BA at Catholic University of America and his Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Manhattan College and a Masters in Social Work from Rhode Island College. He also received a Doctor of Educational Leadership, honoris cuasa from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota. A Brother of The Christian Schools, Brother Michael has 40+ years’ experience in serving the state’s highest risk families and youth. In New York, Brother Michael started working directly with at-risk youth and families as a Supervisor for three group homes in the Bronx and Queens. Brother Michael pronounced final vows as a Christian Brother in August of 1968. In the early 70’s Brother Michael was part of the Catholic Chaplain Team for Adult Corrections and the Juvenile Training School. In 1974, he co-founded Ocean Tides, a residential treatment facility where he was the 1st Chief Executive Officer. In 1983, Brother Michael founded Tides Family Services. Starting with $15,000 seed money and an office no bigger than a supply closet he has led the 35 year old organization to an $8 million company with over 140 staff serving 500 youth a day.
Acclaimed in the community as an inspirational and influential force, Brother Michael was one of the early pioneers who recognized prevention and intervention meant community based work had to be in family homes and “at the kitchen table.” For years, Brother Michael walked the streets of Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls and West Warwick to help kids and families as his passion has been to make sure every child stay rooted in family and community. Today, many of those kids, now adults reach back to thank him for saving their lives.
Brother Michael is truly the voice for the voiceless. Always having the pulse on the child welfare landscape and known for “wearing the collar” at the Statehouse, he can be relentless in his efforts to advocate for the needs of at-risk children and families. His iconic presence has distinguished Brother Michael as a Visionary Beyond Borders that many recognize and choose to follow.
John Baptiste de La Salle once stated “Example makes a much greater impression on the mind & heart than words.” Brother Michael Reis has been a true example of servant leader.