CAMBRIDGE – It was my honor to be a part of a surprise celebration for the two longest serving employees of Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) at the S&S in Inman Sq, Lois Josimovich and Maria Matos.
Lois and Maria exemplify the hard work and dedication I have come to expect from the MAPS organization in Cambridge and Somerville. MAPS is the first place my office and I call for help with issues that impact the Portuguese community, like immigration, community outreach, or language barrier problems. MAPS has brought the Portuguese community together for as long as I can remember, thanks to the work ethic and institutional knowledge of employees like Maria and Lois.
From left: MAPS Board President Joseph J. Vasconcelos, Director of Development & Communications Lois Josimovich, Immigrant Social Services Supervisor Maria Matos, myself, and MAPS Executive Director Paulo Pinto
At the same time, underscoring their efforts to provide innovative service, MAPS is introducing their new and improved Portuguese-language website and announcing their annual meeting.
MAPS will hold its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 28 in the second floor community center of its Cambridge Office, located at 1046 Cambridge St. MAPS members and the public are invited to attend and hear about agency accomplishments during the past year. Members will also vote in the annual Board of Directors election.
The evening begins with a light buffet supper at 6:30 pm followed by the business meeting at 7 pm.
More detailed information on Lois and Maria, and their new website, directly from MAPS:
MAPS Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Services for
The Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) honored its two longest-time employees, Maria Matos and Lois Josimovich, for their 20th anniversary of service on September 30 with a surprise party at a Cambridge restaurant.
“We are very thankful to them and really wanted to offer them this recognition,” said Paulo Pinto, MAPS’ Executive Director, handing each of them a certificate of recognition. “MAPS wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t for their hard work.”
Both Matos and Josimovich were also honored with citations offered by the Massachusetts House of Representatives and by the Cambridge City Council, presented by State Representative and City Councillor Timothy Toomey, Jr.
Matos started working at MAPS—then the Somerville Portuguese American League (SPAL)–as a teenager with the Youth Programs, and later evolved into a very active social worker. Today she is the Supervisor of Immigrant Social Services Programs for the Boston area. She has provided information, individual assistance, interpretation, translation and referrals around housing, employment, government benefits and other daily life issues to more than 30,000 Portuguese speakers.
“The best thing for me is when I see anxious clients and I am able to help them and make a difference in their lives,” said Matos.
Josimovich, Director of Development & Communications, also started out with SPAL and was a key contributor to its merger with the Cambridge Organization of Portuguese Americans (COPA) to form MAPS in 1993. As the member of the MAPS management team responsible for agency fund development and public relations, she has also played an important role in the agency’s growth and its expansion of services and locations throughout greater Boston, Northeastern Massachusetts and the MetroWest area.
“It’s really an honor to work every day with the incredibly smart, dedicated, caring people who make up the MAPS family.” said Josimovich. “I’m always inspired when I hear their stories about the individuals and families we help every day.”
MAPS is a private, non-profit health and social service agency, with six offices throughout the greater Boston, Framingham and Lowell. For more information, please call (617) 864-7600 or visit http://www.maps-inc.org/.
MAPS Launches Portuguese Version of New Agency
Portuguese speakers can once again access up-to-date information in their own language about services provided by the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) on the Internet. The private, non-profit organization has just finished updating all of the Portuguese content on its website, http://www.maps-inc.org/.
“We are very happy to offer our clients a new website in their native language,” said Paulo Pinto, MAPS’ Executive Director. “Many of them are not fluent in English and it is important for us that they know the services we provide and how we can help them.”
MAPS’ website was completely redesigned by Webmaster Pat Quintin using WordPress software, and its English version has been live since April 2, 2009. The revamped Portuguese content went live on Sept. 22, and is now in a test phase. Visitors may send comments and suggestions to Renan Leahy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new site includes completely updated information and photos about the agency and its services, as well as several other important new features, such as:
· Easier navigation;
· A site map and search box;
· A Google Calendar link for events at MAPS and in the community;
· More transparency about MAPS finances and other agency information for MAPS funders and donors; and
· A brand new Bulletin Board section where community members who register can post jobs, items for sale and housing for free.
MAPS has offered social and health services to the Portuguese-speaking
communities in Massachusetts since 1970. The agency has six offices throughout
greater Boston, Framingham and Lowell.