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The power of community support

July 09, 2013
Adriana Estevez embodies the famous paraphrase of Mahatma Gandhi’s words, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

She spends her time actively engaged in the community to improve life for all – her own family members, youth at her church, and families participating in the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, the site of her internship.

Adriana works with children with behavioral issues and their families in the Council’s Community & Family Support Center. Nurturing children, preventing child abuse and neglect, and fostering self-sufficiency and empowerment through family education is the Center’s important charter.

With an undergraduate degree in psychology and minor in sociology from Merrimack, applying for a fellowship to pursue a master’s degree was a logical next step for Adriana. This world citizen of Dominican Republic ancestry has lived in Massachusetts, Florida, New Hampshire, and Guatemala and truly understands the power of community support. Adriana comments,“Everyone has problems, I help people build on what’s positive in their lives. I help people see possibilities to instill hope for their future.”

The Greater Lawrence Community Action Council serves over 25,00 clients in its mission to empower the people in the community to achieve self-sufficiency. With an emphasis on programs in early education, social services, childcare, health, housing, and youth employment, the agency works with local, state and federal governments and private agencies to create opportunities and hope for people living in poverty.


Adriana’s case management work helps families put a plan of action in place to alleviate stress and build positive change. Her wide-ranging efforts include creating behavioral charts to post in households for positive reinforcement, providing parents assistance with navigating the public school system, and leading parent education groups. Upon graduation, Adriana will transition into a new position as an Intensive Care Coordinator at Children’s Friend & Family Services in Lawrence. Not surprisingly, her job will keep her active in the community, improving the lives of children and helping their mothers, fathers, and relatives become better caregivers and employees.

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    Adriana Estevez, M’13 Community Engagement Fellow

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