Mahmood moved to Portland, Maine from Northern Iraq in 2017. In Iraq, Mahmood was a school teacher, but had no job experience in the states and needed to find work. He eventually found his way to LearningWorks where he volunteered as a receptionist at our headquarters in Portland. During his time at the front desk, Mahmood met many friendly faces and started to build connections within the organization.
After volunteering as our receptionist, Mahmood decided to stay with LearningWorks and complete two years of service in our Aim High AmeriCorps program beginning in November of 2017. As an AmeriCorps member, Mahmood worked across the street from our headquarters in the West End at Reiche Elementary school, where he served for two years, providing math and literacy support in the classroom, as well as coaching soccer afterschool. Mahmood also volunteered as an Assistant Teacher with our English Language + Literacy Program (EL+LP). Since Mahmood is fluent in English and Arabic, he helped welcome newcomers into the Portland community by translating and connecting with parents. Mahmood told us that his experience at LearningWorks “opened my eyes, and was an amazing opportunity to meet people in Portland and build connections and friendships.”
We certainly miss Mahmood here at LearningWorks! He was a generous member of our community, taking time out from his day to make Iraqi tea for our staff and share information about his life and culture with all of us. Though he is missed, we’re thrilled that Mahmood is working in Portland and planning on going back to school to get his Master’s degree in education. We at LearningWorks are grateful for the time Mahmood has spent with us, and all of the memories we share.
Photo by Lesley Macvane