SMCC establishes scholarship in honor of Alain J. Nahimana

SMCC has established a scholarship in honor of the late Alain J. Nahimana, co-founder and Executive Director of The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center.

A native of Burundi who moved to Maine 10 years ago, Nahimana is credited with helping strengthen the immigrant community in profound ways. To honor and remember him, SMCC has established the Alain J. Nahimana Memorial Scholarship, which will be awarded annually to support a student or students of SMCC who are immigrants.

“Alain was a good friend of SMCC, always challenging the college to do more and supporting our efforts to better serve our students who are immigrants. We will miss him,” SMCC President Joe Cassidy said in announcing the scholarship.

After moving to Maine, Nahimana served as the coordinator for the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition and as president of the Burundi Community Association of Maine. In 2017, he and Damas Rugaba, an immigrant from Rwanda, opened the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center as a way to serve the different immigrant communities in Greater Portland.

Nahimana died unexpectedly of health complications last week at the age of 49.

To donate to the scholarship fund, please visit the SMCC Foundation Donation Form and mark donations for the “Alain J. Nahimana Memorial Scholarship.”