Volunteers

Our volunteers come from various walks of life to give of their time and talents to assist the center as needed. We depend on them to help us accomplish our day-to-day and long-term objectives. We express our gratitude to each one of them, whether they are ad hoc volunteers or continuing volunteers.

Joan Abbot

Summer School Teacher

"Life has always been full of interesting opportunities. I had the pleasure of teaching elementary school for 25 years. I also took my deep love of animals and founded a small animal shelter, which I still run.  And I have had the good fortune to be able to travel to many places in the world. While helping people that I met on my travels, I began to wonder how I could assist people in the United States, who have made courageous journeys to begin life here. This desire brought me to Lowell where I discovered an amazing network of people and organizations working with the refugee, immigrant community. I continue to enjoy learning more about the people in this vibrant city. "

Agatha Onyinyechukwu Adigwe

Volunteer

Agatha Onyinyechukwu Adigwe graduated with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree (Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration) from the Department of Public Health, Zuckerburg College of Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell. Agatha has always been interested in non-profit organizations and passionate about improving the social determinants of health of children and adolescents and so she has volunteered for such organizations like IWACHD and Sharing Life Africa back home in Nigeria.

While getting her master’s at UMass Lowell she was an Office of Multicultural Affairs- UMass Lowell (OMA-UML) ambassador, a Student Alumni Ambassador, and a volunteer for the African Community Center Lowell (ACCL) summer school program.  Agatha likes to dance, travel, spend time with friends and family, and read for leisure.

Karen Adwoa Pomaah Akwaboah

Summer School Volunteer

17 years ago my parents immigrated from Ghana all the way to the United States. A year later, I was born as Karen Adwoa Pomaah Akwaboah at Lowell General Hospital. Ever since I was a child, I watched both my parents work tirelessly to achieve their goals of becoming nurses at different medical facilities. They’re an inspiration to me and also were an influence when it came to deciding the career I wanted to pursue, becoming a doctor. I remember I would constantly play with medical toy sets pretending to give people “shots”, hitting knees with the little reflex hammer, and checking hearts with the stethoscope. I’m a very empathetic person and I knew that I wanted to do something that was based on caring for others and possibly even saving someone's life. This goal of mine requires hard work, determination, and dedication but I’m ready for it. When I was in middle school and discovered what grades were and what they accounted for, I soon turned into a straight A/A+ student. I still maintain the same grades and I’m currently going into my junior year at Tyngsborough High School where I plan on taking classes such as AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Language and Anatomy to kick start my knowledge for my future college major. Besides school life, I am the oldest of 4 children with 2 brothers and a sister. It was up to me to take care of my siblings at a very young age, especially while my parents were working. This taught me many things but most importantly I learned how to take charge and become a leader. At this summer program, I want to use this skill to not only guide the kids in the right direction but to teach them to use their voice especially in times like these.

Jake Hoffman

Tutor & Summer School Teacher

Jake graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois with a B.S. in chemistry; he also has a masters degree in Oceanography from Texas A&M University. He recently retired after teaching chemistry for 42 years at Lexington Christian Academy in Lexington, Massachusetts. Jake is a long-time member of Eliot Presbyterian Church in Lowell. He is happy to serve as a tutor at the African Community Center, and hopes to work with youth and adults in all areas of math and science.


"I very much enjoyed working with the students at the ACCL summer school. I taught students about science. It was challenging to use basic words to describe complex ideas. We worked on vocabulary as we read and talked about measurement, electricity, magnets, and astronomy. We did hands-on activities such as testing conductivity of materials, building circuits with LEDs, and finally building a pinhole viewer for the upcoming solar eclipse. I enjoyed meeting students and watching them read and speak English with more confidence."

Lori Hoffman

Tutor & Summer School Teacher

Lori graduated from Calvin College in Michigan with a B.A. in English as well as secondary teaching certification. Her work experience includes four years of high-school teaching and 17 years at Community Newspaper Company, focusing on graphic design and copy editing. Recently she returned to teaching, as a special education tutor at Lexington Christian Academy. Lori is a long-time member of Eliot Presbyterian Church in Lowell. She is delighted to serve as a tutor at the African Community Center, and hopes to work with youth and adults in English reading and writing.


"I am proud to have been part of the first year of the ACCL summer school. It was delightful to meet young people who are learning a new culture and language. They are bright and wonderful, and Lowell is a better place because they are here. In class I taught English, starting each time with conversation and then working on grammar, writing, and reading. On the last day each student wrote a paragraph about a place, including a topic sentence, facts to support their idea, and a conclusion. We tried to read an entire book during the summer school time, but we were not quite able to finish the books. At the closing ceremony the students will each receive a copy of the book so they can finish reading as their skills improve in the future."

Rhoda Kaddu

Volunteer

My name is Rhoda Kaddu and I was born in Uganda. I am a rising senior at Innovation Academy Charter School. I aspire to be a lawyer and work in foreign politics.  I was introduced to the African Community Center of Lowell through the internship program at my school. I always want to give back to my community. The ACCL has given me the opportunity to help my community and create an impact. I want to continue to use the nonprofit world to combat the injustices around me.

Elizabeth Williams

Summer School Teacher

"Hi, my name is Elizabeth Williams and I am a competitive swimmer as well as a volunteer teacher at the ACC summer classes!  This past weekend I was in Ohio for a swim meet competing against the swim teams from around the country.  I have trained very hard and swim a personal best time in my 50 meter freestyle (my specialty) to qualify for this meet.  I swam a 27.10 sec race, and made the cut!  I travelled to Ohio with my team and coaches, swam really fast while I was there and had a wonderful time! "