Alain J. Nahimana | Executive Director of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center
In 2010 Alain Nahimana fled his home country of Burundi and moved to Maine. Through Portland’s General Assistance work program, he held several entry-level jobs before becoming the coordinator of the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and eventually cofounding the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center in 2018. The nonprofit organization provides immigrants with resources they need to work in a new country. “It’s a blessing to do the work that I do,” Nahimana says. Through the Welcome Center, Nahimana helps immigrants prepare for the workforce by offering several educational programs, such as a digital language course that teaches industry-specific vocabulary and the Immigrant Business Hub, which provides training for immigrant entrepreneurs in Portland. The organization also helps new Mainers acquire citizenship and register to vote, which Nahimana believes will help Maine’s democracy become more inclusive and therefore contribute to building a better society. Nahimana also serves as a board member for Maine Initiatives, Youth and Family Outreach, and the Environmental Health Strategy Center. He is both grateful for the chance to help immigrants develop skills for leading successful lives in Maine, and proud to show his children how resilience and perseverance helped him reach his goals.