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 has been involved with Portland Empowered since 2016. He started his journey with Portland Empowered when he became  a Youth Lead Organizer and was also attending Youth Leadership Institute that same year. Currently, Billale is a sophomore at The University of Southern Maine and is excited to be involved this year as an intern. Billale's  favorite things about being an intern are overseeing high school students who are active and engaged in important issues that affect them at their schools. In addition, Billale  also loves seeing the progress within the organization. He has had the chance to see the direct change over the past few months and years since his initial YLO status in 2016. He loves seeing individuals grow and become true leaders. Billale describes his transition from a youth member to an intern as amazing. “Being able to work with this great organization and being able to attend USM makes it easier for me to be flexible to help out more. I also get the chance to work with amazing interns and youth members.”

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.


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Most Photos Credit
to E’nkul Kanakan