The Journey

Family Story

Everyday at Centerboard our Family Advocates strive to help families overcome obstacles and pursue healthy, happy and successful lives.  It is a true testament to the human spirit when we meet families that work hard to break through barriers, especially when faced with the challenges of starting over.

Lamadine and Fatima came from the Republic of Chad located in Northern Central Africa. They had been living at a Refugee Camp for about a year after fleeing their village when the Rebel Militia attacked and decimated their entire community.

In 2012 they came to the United States and were placed in a refugee shelter located here in the city of Lynn. They faced many obstacles in the shelter, ranging from cultural differences to overcrowded conditions.  After many ups and downs, Lamadine found his way to Centerboard where he was connected with our Family Advocate, Oriana de la Rosa, who despite the language barrier was able to work together with the family. 

The couple attended the New American Center where they started ESL classes and computer classes.  Lamadine began working at Wal-Mart as a cashier and earned Wal-Mart’s “Cashier of the Month” three times during his employment.  

Oriana coached the family during the following months on how to save money and eventually Lamadine was able to buy his own car. Working with Oriana, the family then received a voucher from the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program which enabled Oriana to find them a great apartment in Lynn. 

Lamadine has since been promoted to  Wal-Mart’s Loss/Prevention Department.  Fatima has obtained her driver’s permit and is now looking for work.  Their landlord has spoken highly of the family, stating they pay their rent on time and are excellent tenants. Their children are thriving in daycare, where their oldest is learning three languages!

Success stories like Lamadine and Fatima’s not only show the dedication of our Family Advocates, but the resilience of the human spirit.  Lamadine and Fatima have gotten where they are through hard work and perseverance.  All they needed was a little help from “a neighbor”!

Centerboard: Empowering families, young people and communities for success!