Avesta presents Yandell Award to ProsperityME

ProsperityME has been awarded the Avesta Housing Mike Yandell Award for its extraordinary work in the field of affordable housing.

Named for the late Mike Yandell, a former Avesta Housing board chair and the former president of Gorham Savings Bank who is remembered for his commitment to improving the community, the award is presented annually to an individual or organization that helps provide safe, quality affordable housing to people in Maine or New Hampshire.

Founded in 2008, ProsperityME in a nonprofit organization that empowers new Mainers via free financial counseling, career and business development, housing assistance and college scholarships. Its services are available to refugees, immigrants, asylees and low-income residents in Greater Portland and Lewiston/Auburn.

“Many of the residents living at Avesta properties are new Mainers, and the assistance they receive from ProsperityME is invaluable in helping them develop productive, rewarding lives for themselves and their families,” said Avesta Housing President & CEO Dana Totman. “For more than a decade, they have been a great resource and partner in the state’s affordable housing industry.”

In accepting the award, ProsperityME Executive Director Claude Rwaganje noted the close relationship between Avesta and his organization.

“Since our organization began 13 years ago, I have worked closely with Dana and Avesta Housing. In fact, we were provided with office space at Avesta for seven years until we moved three years ago,” Rwaganje said. “I have seen firsthand the importance and economic impact of Avesta’s work benefitting the Greater Portland community.

“We are very honored to receive the Mike Yandell Award for our work supporting immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in securing affordable housing as they begin their new lives in Maine. This award will inspire us to continue this important work.”

PHOTO: ProsperityME Executive Director Claude Rwaganje, left, receives the Mike Yandell Award from Avesta Housing President & CEO Dana Totman.