Growing up on a sheep farm in rural Maine, I always craved novel experiences, in particular exploring other cultures and languages. I graduated early from high school and left to be an English teacher’s assistant in Sonora, Mexico. That first experience sparked my passion for learning languages, finding cultural differences and similarities, and seeing how international politics affect us all. I graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a double major in Anthropology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. I began working for ESCORT as a temporary recruiter in Maine with the broccoli and blueberry harvests. I was excited to have a job where I could use my language skills to meet people from so many cultures (Native American Passamaquoddy, First Nations Mi’kmaq, Spanish-speaking, Creole-speaking, etc.), right in my backyard in Maine.
The hands-on experience of advocating for migrant families, reading with migrant children, and recruiting families for the help they need and to which they are entitled, continue to be the most rewarding experiences. Those of us who work for migrant programs are fortunate to realize we are making a true difference in people’s lives. In my current position, I am able to see change on a larger scale and look at the program’s presence on a state-wide level. By better understanding state and national trends and legislation, we can best support our migrant families.
Amelia is the Services Coordinator for the Maine Migrant Education Program. She has worked with individuals from all parts of the world and is fluent in Spanish, proficient in French, and currently learning Kinyarwanda. Her professional experience includes career counseling, collaborating across cultures, identification and recruitment strategies, and providing meaningful services to students of all ages and their families. She has been working with ESCORT since 2013.