“LearningWorks is filling a really important niche in Portland.” – Emily Thielmann
West End resident Emily Thielmann has been a policy associate at the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the University of Southern Maine since 2012. Her work is centered around the Institute’s Youth & Community Engagement (YCE) program, which works with individuals and communities to leverage their leadership and build their skills, resources, and capacity.
She started her career at LearningWorks as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in the summer of 2009, coordinating volunteers and starting a mentoring program for adult English Language Leaners and Youth Building Alternatives students. Over time, she went on to coordinate our former Study Center and teach in our LearningWorks Afterschool and Youth Building Alternatives program.
When asked about her tenure at LearningWorks, Emily says, “LearningWorks let me put into practice the way I wanted to live in the world. Not only did I get to spend my time building deep relationships and constantly learning new things, but I was giving back to my community – and not just my community, but to my neighborhood. It really deepened my connection to this community and my desire to keep fighting to make sure everyone gets to fulfill their right to get a great education. Nothing brings me joy more than bumping into students who used to come to the Study Center as middle schoolers and hearing about their jobs or the classes they are taking in college.”
Photography courtesy of Claire Houston