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Community Needs

Organizations with potential service-learning projects:

Acre Family Child Care

Acre Family Child Care's mission is to provide a pathway for women to achieve economic independence by operating high quality child care businesses in their homes. Our vision includes ensuring that the children of Greater Lowell have access to a high-quality early education experience, regardless of their parents’ level of income.

Needs: AFCC is interested in partnering with experienced and/or driven volunteers to help increase the capacity of our Child Care Department in the area of Parent Engagement. We are also interested in partnering with experienced and/or driven volunteers to help bolster our Marketing and Communications department.

Contact: Aleksandra Tugbiyele, Development and Communications Coordinator Phone: 978-937-5293

Boys and Girls Club

657 Middlesex Street
Lowell, MA 01851
Contact: Michelle Meehan

The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, Inc. provides social, educational, physical, and cultural programming for boys and girls in the Lowell area. The intent of these programs is to enhance the development of children and to prepare young people to be responsible and productive members of the community.

Sample Programs:

arts and crafts, basketball, cooking, floor hockey, swimming, foosball, pool, ping pong, computers, intramural sports, traveling teams, literacy improvement, girl scouts.

Possible Projects:

  • mentoring/consulting for engineering programs designed for middle-school aged students

Cambodian American League of Lowell

60 Middlesex Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Bunroeun Thach,

The Cambodian American League of Lowell, Inc. (CALL) was organized and chartered primarily for the purpose of serving low- and moderate-income Southeast Asians in the Greater Lowell area, primarily the residents and businesses in the Highlands neighborhood.

Possible Projects:

  • Housing Development: Construction began on the affordable housing development of twenty-four units (24) this April 2000 and is expected to be completed within eighteen (18) months. The low/moderate housing development project includes two (2) buildings which were built in the late 1800s. The first floors have been used continuously for commercial space, but the upper three (3) floors have been vacant since the 1960s, except for storage for the commercial users. Twenty-four (24) apartments are planned for the upper floors, with fifteen (15) two-bedroom and nine (9) one-bedroom units.
  • Microenterprise Training: For over five years, the Cambodian American League has been training eager entrepreneurs from many different backgrounds and walks of life to fulfill their dreams and have their own businesses. Intensive training by local business professionals and college professors is given in marketing, legal, banking, finance, web development, and other areas.

emptyCambodian Mutual Assistance Association

165 Jackson Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Vong Ros
Kara Cicchetti, Project Manager of Architectural Heritage Foundation, 617-523-8678

The mission of CMAA is to improve the quality of life for the Cambodian-American community of Greater Lowell and other ethnic minorities through educational, cultural, social, community and economic development efforts.

Possible Projects:

They are going to renovate the 180,000 ft2 former Courier Building, a $2 million project, which they anticipate to finish in 2007:

  • Heating and air-conditioning projects, including measuring the thermal system and doing a heat analysis.
  • Structural Engineering: Weigh the capacity of the building's roof, test the efficiency of the structure to make sure all segments of the building have sufficient capacity.
  • Sustainable green solar cooling system. Solar access and net again. Pumping water from the canal and exchange them to the solar power.It will be great for us because AHF is in the planning period; so students have a lot of opportunities to work on the project. AHF 2 building in Lawrence, would students be interested in traveling there?

Center for Community Research and Engagement (CCRE)

600 Suffolk St, 1st Floor,
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Linda Silka,, Dan Toomey,

The Center for Community Research and Engagement (formerly the Center for Family, Work and Community) is dedicated to providing exceptional organizational development, consultation and training. Staff is available to consult about creating partnerships with university faculty, staff and students. The Center can help enhance community and organizational capacity by bringing University skills, strategic planning and expertise to groups outside the University.

Possible Projects:

  • River Ambassadors: Volunteer-based youth program which is now in its seventh year of bringing youth together with the University and community groups to address environmental health concerns in Lowell. The program not only provides project-based hands-on activities on environmental justice, but also give students the opportunity to developed and create their own environmental activities. In addition, the students also participate in local community events to promote and exchange ideas about the environment.
  • Community Outreach Partnership: The Center is funded by the federal Housing and Urban Development Agency and UMass Lowell. New Directions focuses on strengthening community-university partnerships around health and the environment, youth issues, strengthening community planning capacity, and increasing outreach and education to the community.

Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA)

517B Moody St, 3rd Floor,
Lowell, MA 01852
978-452-7523, ext. 809
Contact: Robyn Long-Navas, Community Organizer,

Much of the group's focus has been on housing -- it has facilitated more than 400 low- and medium-price housing units in the neighborhood, including the 270-unit North Canal Apartments complex, a low-income project built by the private sector and then left to decay. CBA got control, renovated the buildings, and they now offer residents quality, moderate-price housing.

CBA has also been involved in jobs and economic development. It started, then spun off, the Acre Family Day Care Corp., which trains local women for careers in family day care and human services; the Enterprise Development Center, a small-business incubator housing such thriving new ventures as a company that makes ergonomically designed computer "mice;" and a microenterprise peer-lending program.


Possible Projects:

CBA has planned to work on the huge plan called the Upper Merrimack Planning Area which surrounded areas by: Northern Canal Apt. Merrimack and North common Village.

  • Water Watch and Canal Analysis: analyzing and testing the quality of water, measuring of the flows, dissolved oxygen content, acidity, and temperature of the canals, Also, finding out the alternatives of the canal utility.
  • Thermal feature: heating system of the houses and laying outs the infrastructure of the houses, floors and windows...
  • Neighborhood traffic settlement: looking for a cost benefit analysis of it, finding an affordable way of reducing traffic in the neighborhood, and looking at the alternatives of building of the University Ave bridge that the City planned to build, which was a proposal endorsed by the MA Highway Dept and State Transportation Secretary Daniel Grabauska.

emptyCommunity Teamwork

167 Dutton St
Lowell, MA 01852
978-459-0551 ext. 281
Contact: Karen Frederick,

The mission of Community Teamwork is to assist low-income people to become self-sufficient, to alleviate the effects of poverty in our communities, and to empower low-income people to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

Possible Projects:

  • The Department of Housing and Community Development provides low-income families and individuals with temporary support systems, referrals and linkages resulting in housing stabilization and financial self-sufficiency.
  • The Energy programs assist low-income families to maintain heat, lights, water, sewer, and other vital utilities in their homes.
  • The purpose of CTI YouthBuild of Lowell program is twofold:
    • To provide disadvantaged young adults (ages 16-24) with job readiness and job skills training, GED preparation, leadership training and eventual employment.
    • To expand the supply of affordable housing by building and rehabilitating housing for low-income and homeless persons.

emptyDivision of Planning and Development

Contact: Brian Conners,

Possible Projects:

The Tanner Street Initiative surfaced when the need arose to examine the future of one of the most contaminated sites in New England - the Silresim Superfund Site. Formerly home to the Silresim Chemical Corporation, this site of just over four acres on Tanner Street has been under government control since the company declared bankruptcy and ceased operations in 1977, leaving behind over 30,000 drums of chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency has done on-site treating of the groundwater, and awarded the City of Lowell with a grant to study possible short and long term uses of the Superfund Site. It was then determined by the City that a study of Silresim would not be effective without including the impact this site has had on an entire district, thus creating the Tanner Street Initiative.

The City formed a Community Advisory Board to help guide the planning process in determining the future of the area. The EPA grant allowed the City to hire Stoss Landscape Urbanism of Boston, MA, to complete a reuse and redevelopment study for the district.


981 Varnum Ave
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Patrick Scollin,

D'Youville Senior Care Center's mission of compassionate care respects the dignity and rights of the whole person. D'Youville welcomes residents and their families, employees and the people from the broader community.

Possible Projects:

  • English as a Second Language
  • Volunteer Opportunities (rehab, social services and throughout the house)
  • Exercise Programs for both residents and staff
  • Computer Lab for Residents
  • Computer Training for Staff
  • Time Management
  • Presentations to Keep Seniors Up-to-date on current events, technology, entertainment, global issues
  • Review current process and enhance proper assessment and reporting by body systems
  • Ergonomics Training for Staff

Greater Lowell Community Foundation

169 Merrimack St, 5th Floor
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: David Kronberg,

The Greater Lowell Community Foundation is a 6 year-old $8 million charitable foundation comprised of 163 endowment funds, and an active and varied endowment development, grants and community service programs focused on the Northern Middlesex, Greater Lowell, Nashoba, and Merrimack Valley regions. The Community Foundation assists individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and corporations to gain knowledge of issues of most importance to them, and encourages these partners to become strategic philanthropists by connecting them with organizations, resources and other donors to create imaginative and resourceful investment in our communities.

Since 1998, the Foundation and its donors have awarded over $1,800,000 in scholarships to high school students, grants to strengthen the organizational capacity of nonprofit groups, distributions from funds established exclusively for or by nonprofit agencies, and donor advised gifts to charitable organizations. The Community Foundation develops other targeted grant and program initiatives and serves as a leading convener of people and community institutions to improve the quality of life in our region.

emptyGreater Lowell Technical High School

250 Pawtucket Boulevard,
Tyngsboro, MA 01879-2199
Principal: James Cassin

Possible Projects:

  • Mentoring of high school students

emptyLawrence Community Works

60 Island St, 3rd Floor
Lawrence, MA
Contact: Bill Traynor,

Lawrence Community Works is a non-profit community development corporation dedicated to the sustained economic and physical revitalization of the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts. CommunityWorks comprises a dynamic group of families, organizations and institutions. Together we are creating a network of Lawrencians who are revitalizing the city by:

  • Building family and community assets
  • Contributing their time, skills and energy to the group
  • Engaging in the collective action to advance the agenda of revitalization.

Possible Projects:

  • development of waterways, streets and alleys
  • housing and tutoring/mentoring for youth programs

emptyLowell Community Health Center

585-597 Merrimack St
Lowell, MA 01852

Contact: Paulette Renault-Caragianes

Possible Projects:

  • Beautification & Site improvement

emptyLowell Housing Authority

350 Moody St
Lowell, MA 01852

Contact: Ray Serano

Possible Projects:

  • Housing development

emptyLowell Telecommunication Corporation (LTC)

246 Market Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Felicia Sullivan,
Robert Haig

A media and technology center providing telecommunication services to the community.

Possible Projects:

LTC has two types of opportunity: volunteer opportunities, and student projects that count toward the school credit. They have clear job descriptions and supervisors for students.

  • Electronic devices: Working with telecommunication and media including TV sign or signal, and how a wire and device connect to the camera and TV.
  • Power requirements: Testing power, wire connection, power interruption
  • Web design and computer drawing
  • Chemical project: a small project??, and small component??? It is not sure.

emptyMassachusetts Alliance for Portuguese Speakers (MAPS)

11 Mill St
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Osvalda Rodrigues,

The mission of the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers is to serve people from all Portuguese-speaking communities and their descendants and to help them become self-reliant and productive members of American society, while maintaining strong ethnic identity and pride.

emptyMerrimack River Watershed CouncIL

600 Suffolk Street, 4th Floor
Lowell, MA 01854
Contact: Christine Tabak,

MRWC is a non-for-profit membership organization with a growing constituency of individuals, businesses, municipalities and community groups seeking to protect the natural resources of the watershed.

Working in partnership with these diverse interests, MRWC acts as a catalyst to improve the watershed environment through planning, advocacy, education, science, and protection of watershed lands.

emptyNational Park Service/Lowell National Historical Park

67 Kirk St,
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Mike Wurm,, Ted Davis

Possible Projects:

  • Boott Mills Roofing Project: Solar accessing, gaining and buying, and green solar designing and insulation. The grant already committed for this project but Ted Davis waits for $$ to come, then he might need two engineering students from the University to help on the project.
  • Cooling Alternatives Projects:
    • Cooling Tower from the Roof (pumping water from canals and exchange them to get the thermal /heats chemical...).
    • Pipe River: Water Testing, Water watch, quality of water and Parameters... This project also waits for grants to come; it could start in a few weeks if the grants will be approved.
  • Updating plans for Boott Solar Project
  • Conceptual plan/estimate for micro-turbine at the Mtce Shope
  • Design and estimate of Hydro Locks Hydraulic System
  • Grand Proposal for Division of Energy of Resources (DOER) funding
  • Design stop logs for F Bridge upstream side
  • Design and estimates for changing tour boats to electric drives FC
  • Assist with cataloguing building plans/organizing files
  • Update sign plan by mapping existing sign locations in GIS
  • Update As-builds Booth Electrical Plan
  • Collaborate in Fish study/electrical plans
  • Converting VC Parking Lot Plans in Building Files to CAD.
  • Work Environment Projects:
    • Environment Management including recycling and keeping the park clean and green
  • Fish Project: Environment Analysis, Settlement Projects including canal and rivers quality and water testing and analysis (This project can be more scientific project...) The Park has had a cooperative agreement with the Center of the University. The Center and the Park have worked on the community gardening, seeding and green setting but the SLICE project can do work on the power requirement and solar accessing and gaining (can discuss more)
  • Hydrology Project: Setting up the gates for canals and a steel system and Hydro system operation...
  • Computer Design Project: Including a computer designing and a planning and an establishing the map for the Park.

emptyLittle Sprouts, LCP center
OSY Youth Development Center

Little Sprouts, LCP center
Cross Point Towers
900 Chelmsford Street
Lowell, MA 01851
Contacts: Maria Cunha,
Tania Ormonde,

Project's aim is to help Out of School Youth between the ages of 16-21 who reside in Lowell to identify assistance and support services for them so they will find their interests and pathways, complete their high school diplomas or get their GEDs, and enter college or find employment.

Project Self

Contact: Jocelyn

Possible Projects:

Looking for engineering students to help with the After School Programs in these five schools including McAvinnue, Murkland, Daley, Rogers, Sullivan. The courses offer in mathematics physical educations, science, technology, English language arts, arts and cultures.

The engineering students could assist in designing the mini projects, helping with science and math courses/homework, motoring and coordinating the sites. The After School Programs entail two hours and half tutoring and mentoring kids, a break and snake managing and hands-on practice (hands on experience in terms of science and tech...).

Science Quest

Contact: Jennifer Dorsen

Possible Projects:

We were thinking in terms of placements of the University students as coaches for the Science Quest program teams in both the fall and spring semesters. Science Quest is based in Newton and provides training, structure and support for the program. The program aims to connect service-learning students with teams of two to five middle school students, and help them plan and complete semester-long science-based projects. The service-learning students are given a one-day training by Science Quest staff, who demonstrate the "I-Search" investigation model, which helps the middle school students craft a science project that suits their interests.

We think that this is an excellent opportunity for 3 or 4 science or engineering students to apply their knowledge in a challenging and practical way that will assist underserved high school students in Lowell. Although the semester has already started, if we could identify the students in the next few weeks, we may be able to schedule the training and the students could start by the end of the month. We know that the Engineering Department in particular is looking to place students into service learning positions, so we thought we would let you know about this opportunity and ask if you could help us identify interested University students.

2-4 kids work on the structural of science, web designing projects, and scientific field trip. They need an engineering student to be a coach of these students.

emptyTsongas Industrial History Center

115 John Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Peter O'Connell,
Beverly Perna,

Possible Projects:

Educational modules and interactive displays for middle school students on what engineering is and how it affected the industrial revolution in America and in particular, Lowell.

emptyGreater Lowell YMCA

35 YMCA Drive
Lowell, MA 01852
Contact: Ray Adams,