Partnership aims to support Indonesian students in NH

Great Bay Community College to help citizens gain new skills and career opportunities

Great Bay Community College and Indonesian Community Connect have partnered together to improve the lives of citizens by building access to important educational and professional resources. From left to right: Tom Andruskevich, the college’s chief business affairs officer; GBCC President Cheryl Lesser; Raude Raychel, president and founder of Indonesian Community Connect; Ivana Tuati, ICC secretary; and Miles Lius, summer intern with the organization. (Great Bay Community College photo)

Great Bay Community College has launched an effort to help the region’s growing Indonesian population gain new skills and career opportunities.

The partnership between Great Bay Community College and Indonesian Community Connect — a Somersworth-based organization that helps the Indonesian community — aims to expand access to education, scholarship and job opportunities. It also includes plans for translation and interpretation support.

Raude Raychel, president of Indonesian Community Connect, said the effort could help Indonesians who have been in the U.S. for 10 or 20 years who are looking to switch careers or start businesses to achieve their goals.

Raychel said the Indonesian government has also been creating community college initiative programs. Indonesians abroad who are looking to get degrees could find a welcoming space in Somersworth’s Little Indonesia community. The region is home to Indonesian grocery stores and restaurants, she said.

Somersworth, Dover and Rochester are collectively home to more than 5,000 Indonesian people, according to those behind the new partnership.

“This is a second home for the Indonesian community,” Raychel said.

Cheryl Lesser, the new president of Great Bay Community College, said in the early stages of the project they’re trying to understand potential barriers Indonesian students might face and help them thrive in their coursework and community.

Eventually, Lesser said the partnership could expand to other community colleges throughout the state.

Categories: Diversity and Inclusion, Education, News