Meet The Colleagues

Cassie DeFillipo

Cassie's Service Bio

I am currently in an Americorps position with the Lewiston Housing Authority in Maine. I originally became a Colleague as a liason for a microfinance organization called Kiva. With Kiva I worked toward alleviating poverty through creating sustainable change in individuals' lives by journaling, ensuring data transparency and verification, and providing technology training to our partners.

How Cassie Used Our Grant

While serving the Somali immigrant community in Lewiston, Maine, Colleague Cassie DeFillipo is simultaneously developing her own leadership, stretching her Krista Foundation grant money to grow her skills in the following ways:

A Leadership and Support network: Cassie joined a "Women and Leadership" 10-month group, to connect with other young professionals in Lewiston. More than simply networking, Women and Leadership creates a "leadership community that gives women a chance to build networks, explore social change and unleash their leadership potential."

Management: While working at the Housing Authority, Cassie noticed she was often asked to manage groups of volunteers to carry out her work. She utilized grant funds to attend a conference on volunteer management to hone these skills.

Language: Realizing communication is essential to understanding those she serves, Cassie used grant funds to take a conversational Somali class through Lewiston Adult Education. This class includes an introductory study of Somali language and culture along with an overview of Somalia's history, culture, family structure, clothing, and cuisine. The experience includes six two-hour sessions with Somali teachers.  Says Cassie: "I work with Somali refugees, many of whom don't speak English and are new to the United States. Gaining introductory skills in the Somali language and culture enables me to better reach the families at the housing development where I work, especially parents."


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Colleague Info


Developing Nations
Urban America

Homeless Advocacy, Homelessness, Microenterprise, Poverty: Urban US & International, Women's Empowerment