As a college student, Mrs. Sawyer and her family left Saigon, Vietnam, via the American Embassy rooftop in 1975, a few hours after the fall of Saigon. In addition to helping the start-up of several innovative companies (People Express Airlines, Scanning America), while raising her three children, Mrs. Sawyer partnered with her husband in their humanitarian work bringing educational and medical projects to Vietnam. Every year, Mrs. Sawyer travels to the highlands of Vietnam for economic development and art and cultural preservation projects among Vietnamese ethnic minorities.
As Executive Director, Mrs. Sawyer oversees the agency’s mission to provide critical assistance to SE Asian refugees, immigrants and low-income families so that they can thrive and contribute, while helping to preserve their cultural heritage in Central Massachusetts. Since 2015, her agency has also provided assistance to refugees from Iran, Iraq and Syria. During her directorship, SEACMA received over 10 awards and recognitions.
BOA D. NEWGATE
Lead Manager for the Mental Health Cultural Case Management & Youth Effect ADVISOR
Mr. Newgate initiated the Vietnamese Language program at SEACMA and co-founded SEACMA’s Lion Dance program, WYND, which has been instrumental in helping keep kids off the street while encouraging them to embrace their cultural heritage. Mr. Newgate is a much-loved mentor and friend for many at-risk youth in Worcester. He is also well respected by older members of the Asian community in Worcester for his dedication to helping refugees, immigrants and low-income residents to successfully integrate and thrive, and to providing a safe place for youth to grow holistically.
Direct and referral Services & Office manager
Mrs. Nguyen has dedicated over ten years of community assistance through the Southeast Asian Coalition. She continues to support hundreds of immigrants & refugees in getting access to housing, health care, employment, education, and more. Tracy has a bachelors degree in information technology and is certified as a diabetes coach, ServSafe certification, and community health worker with a focus on mental health.
Direct and referral Services, art coordinator & technical support
Ms. Trieu is a community leader with multifaceted talents. She is highly regarded by her Direct and Referral clients, VSL students and SEACMA teammates for her kind soul and willingness to help. With a Bachelors degree in computer science, she also acts as SEACMA’s information specialist for all technology needs. She is certified as a diabetes coach, providing knowledge and advice to hundreds of clients weekly. In addition to this, when she’s not coding or teaching classes at a local temple, she’s expressing her creativity through inventive art projects, creating backdrops, decorations, 3-D landscape recreations, and more by using everyday items like twine, fabric, and cardboard!
public relations & development Coordinator
With a bachelors degree in public relations, Ms. Tran is head of SEACMA’s website development, monthly newsletters, social media promotions, and trade shows. She also takes on grant writing, research and organization. Ms. Tran’s passion for the non-profit sector developed after working in rural villages throughout Thailand. As a Seattleite, Ms. Tran recently moved to the Worcester community eager to get involved.