CFL was excited to bring together Mainers, both new and native, to celebrate its accomplishments in 2015.  The 7th annual event was held on Thursday, May 5th at the U.S. Custom House on Fore Street with over 200 members of the community in attendance.

The program opened with a moving student testimonial from Adele Gatimbirizo, an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  With the help of CFL’s college access counselor, Adele was able to research, apply for and secure scholarships to a local college, allowing her to continue the education she had started in her native country.   As a young person, Adele expressed the importance of education to immigrants and refugees in pursuing their dreams.

Another evening highlight was keynote speaker, Attorney General Janet Mills.  The attorney general spoke about the importance of financial education to New Mainers, including consumer rights and fraud protection.  Financial education is a key to financial stability.  CFL envisions Maine’s refugees, immigrants, their families, and communities reaching financial stability and an improved quality of life.

Executive Director Claude Rwaganje thanked the many foundations, corporations and individuals who have contributed to CFL’s success.  In 2015, CFL was able to provide 21 financial education courses and serve over 378 New Mainers.  Over 130 individuals met with CFL’s college access counselor, and 25 New Mainers participated in the IDA program for refugees.

CFL was proud to award the Finance Authority of Maine as its 2015 Outstanding Community Partner.  Portland Adult Education was the recipient of the 2015 Commitment to Service Award.  Melissa Ntangere received the award for 2015 Volunteer of the Year.

As always, thank you to all of our supporters and friends.  We look forward to seeing you next year!dsc_4531

board-members-greg-hansel-of-pretiflaherty-reverend-mutima-peter-and-eric-boucher-of-avesta-housing-volunteer-kevin-carleyAnnual Celebration photos courtesy of E’nkul Kanakanattorney-general-janet-mills-board-member-reverend-mutima-peterbruce-wagner-of-fame-senator-justin-alfond