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Updated: May 2, 2022 / The Power 50 for 2022

2022 Power 50: Kaska Yawo

Man looks intently at camera Photo | Courtesy of African Community Education Kaska Yawo, co-founder & executive director of African Community Education, in Worcester
Kaska Yawo Titles Co-founder & executive director Organization African Community Education, in Worcester Residence Auburn College University of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here
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For 16 years, Kaska Yawo has been building African Community Education from the ground up, starting as a one-on-one tutoring service for young Liberian refugees.

Since then, Yawo has spearheaded his organization's expansion into wraparound refugee support services, crystalized by the $1.8-million purchase of a former charter school this year. ACE’s purchase will allow the nonprofit to expand from a small unit in the deteriorating Denholm building to a 65,000-square-foot space on Worcester’s Gage Street.

ACE has become a pivotal organization and a thought leader in immigration, diversity, and inclusion. Yawo has said the new Gage Street space will serve as a hub for other immigration nonprofits as a shared space centralizing essential services for immigrants and refugees. The organization now helps thousands of immigrant parents transition into Central Massachusetts schools and navigate resources to settling in the region. During the coronavirus pandemic, ACE’s staff actually grew, now totalling 36 employees.

What sets the Central Mass. business community apart from the rest of the world? The Central Massachusetts business community offers more opportunities for immigrants and refugees to exercise the unique knowledge, experiences, and perspectives they bring to the table than many other parts of the country and world. ACE is proud to contribute to Worcester’s history of being extremely welcoming to diverse populations.

The beginning: My first job in the United States was in the T.J.Maxx warehouse.

Read all the 2020 Power 50 profiles here

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