ProsperityME has appointed University CU Community Engagement Manager and certified financial counselor Lesley Ridge to the organization’s volunteer Marketing & Development Committee. Founded in 2008 by Claude Rwaganje, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, ProsperityME is a non-profit service organization dedicated to helping Maine’s immigrants and refugees build successful, rewarding lives in their new homeland.
ProsperityME offers financial services, including financial literacy courses, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching, counseling for higher education, and small business support. They also partner with other local organizations on workforce development.
Services are open to all refugees, immigrants, asylees, and low-income individuals in Greater Portland and the communities of Lewiston and Auburn.
“Lesley’s experience and training as a certified financial counselor and her community engagement role with University Credit Union perfectly complement our work at ProsperityME, helping all who seek to build new lives here in Maine through financial literacy, career and small business development, volunteerism and public service,” said Megan Piper, ProsperityME Board member and Chair of the Marketing & Development Committee.
As one of University CU’s community engagement managers, Ridge represents the credit union in communities throughout the state, engaging with members, businesses, nonprofits, and local leaders to support financial literacy, volunteerism, and public service. Originally from Gardiner, she is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine and may be a familiar face to many on the USM campus, having previously served as Campus Branch Manager of the Brooks Student Center location.
Ridge joined the credit union in 2011 following a long career in human resources with a large regional supermarket. A Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC), she enjoys volunteering with local nonprofits and bringing financial literacy to students of all ages including the Boys and Girls Club of Southern ME, Wayside Food Programs, United Way’s Thrive 2027 Initiative, and now ProsperityME. When not at work, she enjoys gardening, Zumba fitness, and Maine’s many lakes and coastal waters.