Asnake Kintamo: a multi-talented, challenge-seeking, Neighborhood House staffer
It’s not unusual for people to use terms like ‘diverse’ and ‘multilingual’ to describe Neighborhood House staff. From Armenian to Iu Mien to Tigre, it’s likely you’ll overhear these and other dialects spoken at our many service sites.
Asnake Kintamo, family information specialist, is one of our truly multicultural staff members: originally from Addis Ababa, he studied college in Russia where he earned master’s degrees in physical chemistry and information management. His fluency in Amharic, English, Russian and some Ukrainian makes him an idyllic employee who can assist our clients who are themselves demographically diverse.
“I’ve always loved challenges, and was interested in studying in a foreign country when I was growing up,” he says, and he’s proving that he’s well-suited to the demands of his position.
Some of the challenges he faces regularly are ensuring that income-eligible families are utilizing all of the programs available to them, which is not always an easy task, especially when it comes to reaching immigrants and refugees. Making sure we adhere to grant requirements, such as keeping required enrollment levels for our Early Head Start, Head Start, Step Ahead and ECEAP programs is vital to keeping our funding, and it’s important to him personally.
“I like to help families and see that they’re happy,” says Kintamo. “I enjoy working with kids and helping poor families,” but admits he misses his native Ethiopia and his family members who still live there.
His love of music, including rock, reggae and country, and dedication to the gym, keep him happy when he’s away from work.
For now, Kintamo, who has also worked as a chemist and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), says the work he does is important to helping build our future community. Seeing that our children, who are our future, are well-educated, gives him hope and the belief that it’s a bright and promising one.