Intro to our Team

Portland Empowered is staffed by employees of the Cutler Institute’s Youth and Community Engagement Team. All employees are part time on Portland Empowered, with many working on other projects within the Youth and Community Engagement Team.


As part of the University of Southern Maine, we also have the benefit of working with amazing student interns, many of whom went to Portland Schools and shared critical experiences with the students and families with whom we work most closely. Both staff and interns have presented at national conferences about youth, parent, and family engagement in education.


Billale Fulli, Student Intern

Billale Fulli has been involved with Portland Empowered since 2016. He started his journey in high school when he became a Youth Lead Organizer and attended the Youth Leadership Institute conference. For the past three years, he has been serving as an intern with Portland Empowered. Billale loves the progress within the organization over the past years and seeing individuals grow. He loves working first hand with students and helping to provide them with leadership skills in hopes of them becoming the future leaders of tomorrow. He is inspired by youth activism and is passionate about creating effective change for young people in their schools. Billale’s aspiration in life is to become either an educator or a social worker after he graduates USM, where he is currently majoring in Sociology and double minoring in Philosophy as well as Race and Ethnic Studies. When not with family or friends you can catch Billale either taking his daily spiritual walks around Portland or drinking his favorite Iced Vanilla Chai.

Claire Schroeder, Staff

Claire's passion for this work is rooted in learning from and with young adults, and working together to address challenges. Being a part of Portland Empowered (PE) is a real privilege because Claire gets to witness the energy, brilliance and joy young people have to offer to our world. As an adult, Claire likes working in collaboration with youth to transform the education system. Claire is passionate about supporting adult partners to be able to listen and learn from young adults. Claire also facilitates change with the Southern Maine Youth Transition Network (SMYTN), Youth Justice League (YJL) and the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative (MYTC). All of this work is focused on highlighting the voices of young adults who have expertise on systems they have been impacted by including foster care, homelessness and lack of educational and career opportunities. Claire loves to ride the NYC subway, canoe in the wilderness, and dance anywhere.

Muntaha Mohamed, Staff

Muntaha absolutely loves being apart of Portland Empowered, and one of her favorite elements of this work is the energy she experiences from Youth Engagement Partners and Youth Lead Organizers. She is uplifted by their drive to better their schools and communities. And she is grateful to have their laughter fill up the room. When she’s not helping with Portland Empowered, she’s assisting with Gateway to Opportunity and the Postsecondary Support Project. In her free time, she loves writing poetry and prose, listening to all kinds of music, reading, and spending lots of time with her family and friends.

Pious Ali, Staff

Pious has worked at YCE with the Portland Empowered program since 2014. He is focused on creating opportunities for unengaged members of our community to be heard through their own voice and empowering young people to speak up for themselves. Pious is inspired by his work at PE because it gives a voice to all members of our community and provides a platform for students, families and their school districts to engage each other and make education the best it can be for all students. He is committed to this work because it is leveling the playing field for students who have been left behind, and creates equity in a system that prepares young citizens from all backgrounds for participatory in American democratic  and public life.  Among other things Pious likes to meet new people and talk about public and civic engagement over cup of coffee.

Sheri Moulton, Staff

Sheri has been involved with the Portland Empowered Project since 2014 supporting many wonderful, selfless staff and occasionally mentoring and guiding students. She witnesses, on a daily basis, how the dedicated PE staff interact with and mentor PE students and believes the educational opportunities provided them will have a profound, long-lasting positive effect on their futures.  Sheri loves to spend time with friends and family, hosting and coordinating fun, particularly with her three beautiful grand children.


Yasmeen Tum, Student Intern

Yasmeen Tum has been a part of Portland Empowered since 2016. She started as a club member, and soon after became a Youth Lead Organizer. Now as a Sophomore at University of Southern Maine, Yasmeen is pursuing a degree in Biology, while also working with Portland Empowered as an Intern. She loves painting, baking (although she's not that good at it), listening to comedy podcasts, and taking nature walks. This summer she built a chicken coop and is ready to care for two hens! She aspires to work in the healthcare field, and make a future in the Greater Portland area. Through YEP’s she has grown as a leader and is excited to see the ideas and change the youth of today will make. She hopes to see the students of Portland find their voice and grow as individuals. 

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Most Photos Credit
to E’nkul Kanakan