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Cortlandt Resident Joaquim Mendes Receives Outstanding Volunteer Award

Neighbors Link Northern Westchester recently recognized Cortland Manor resident Joaquim Mendes (on the right in sweater), with its Outstanding Volunteer Award.
Neighbors Link Northern Westchester recently recognized Cortland Manor resident Joaquim Mendes (on the right in sweater), with its Outstanding Volunteer Award. Photo Credit: Contributed

CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. -- The nonprofit group Neighbors Link Northern Westchester recently recognized Cortland Manor resident, Joaquim Mendes, with its Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Mendes, a professor who is retired from Westchester Community College, has volunteered for 10 years with Neighbors Link, which gives its recognitions each year in April, National Volunteer Month.

"Joaquim is a constant presence at Neighbors Link,” said Luisa Granda, director of Adult Education at Neighbors Link Northern Westchester. “He speaks five languages fluently and is currently learning a sixth, so he’s the perfect program manager for our Thursday night ESL (English as a second language) class. Joaquim’s ability to connect with the clients and make them feel comfortable has certainly added to enrollment.”

Mendes says he’s proud to be a longtime volunteer.

“I think it is important to offer ESL classes five days a week instead of just once,” he said. “It is easier for people to learn a language when they use it every day, rather than just occasionally. I’m committed to helping Neighbors Link because this nonprofit helps immigrants become productive community members in Westchester County. The work here really matters.”

Headquartered in Mount Kisco, Neighbors Link Northern Westchester's mission is to strengthen the whole community through the healthy integration of immigrants.

It runs essential programs for area immigrants, including ESL, adult education, workforce development and legal support services.

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