"Providing "Opportunities to Flourish" since 2009"
On September 16th 2021, after over a year apart, the ProsperityME and staff was thrilled to bring the community together as hosts of the 13th Annual Community Block Party, held at Brick South in Portland ME. Over 150 vaccinated and masked attendees enjoyed a warm, sunny afternoon program that included open-air professional networking, an open bar, and dinner-to-go provided by our catering partner, Yardie Ting!
The hour-long program highlighted ProsperityME’s long-term impact on the immigrant community we serve. A student panel – moderated by former ProsperityME student and current Program Coordinator Bright Musamba – exactly how our programs made an impact on our three panelists and helped them achieve their long term goals.
Our panelists included:
Ali Al Mashakeel
Gabriel, a recipient of the Prosper Scholarship in 2020, discovered ProsperityME while working the Portland Adult Education computer lab. He saw a flyer for our Basic Money Management class and registered. “The programs ProsperityME provides are game-changing. (I’ve seen an) impeccable (sic) change in two years. People in Maine are so nice; everyone is willing to help an immigrant.”
“When I first arrived in 2009 in Maine, I didn’t know a lot about the financial system here in the US.” said Ali Al Malashakeel. “I had a friend who said ‘I think you should connect with Clement.’ I attended one of the courses. I learned what a credit score is and how banks use it.” As a refugee, Al Malashakeel was eligible to participate in our IDA program and used matching funds to buy his first laptop computer. Al Malashakeel is the co-founder of Maine Language Connect, a professional interpretation and translation service for private and public sector partners.
Clement Yombe is our former Director of Programs. “It really gives me a great pleasure when I walk into a bank and I see my student.” said Clement, who helped over 500 students improve their lives during his tenure with ProsperityME. Now Clement is the Director of Finance for Coastal Community Care, which he co-owns with his wife Nancy.
Entertainment was provided by Abasérukarikāka Dance who, with their skilled and engaging performance, brought the beauty and brilliance of Burundian traditional dance to our attendees. 2021 scholarship recipient and Maine State “Poetry Out Loud!” champion, Alan Monga, read two poems to our audience.
“It was great to see so many people and to hear about what ProsperityME has been doing,” said one attendee. “I was very impressed with how safe and well organized it was. Well done!"
“I loved all of it. The dancing, the poetry, the chance to gather outdoors and enjoy a cocktail,” said another attendee. “I even liked having an incredible meal packaged up to take home. It was wonderful.”