2023 New Hope Award
The 2023 recipients of the award were two outstanding members of our community, Lorena Neironi Rossi and Jeetan Khadka. The award presentation ceremony took place during the Karibu Cultural Celebration at UVM's Fleming Museum of Art in Burlington on October 21.
About Lorena Neironi Rossi
Born and raised in Argentina, Lorena received her law degree from La Universidad Nacional del Nordeste. She practiced family law in Argentina before moving to Vermont 20 years ago where she now lives with her husband and three children. Her motto, “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,” guides her work with the community. She is not afraid to take on problems with her own hands to find solutions.
Currently working as a Community Ambassador at CVOEO, Lorena has been involved with the New American community in Vermont for several years where she helps individuals with translation services, financial education, immigration status, working opportunities, and more. In addition, she has participated in several focus groups covering topics from clean transportation to affordable housing.
Most recently, she created a program that can be replicated by landlords to help “one family at a time” access affordable housing.
She plans to use the New Hope Award prize to continue supporting her community. Her prize money will benefit the rehabilitation program she is developing to help resolve the housing crisis.
About Jeetan Khadka
Jeetan serves as an Employment Counselor and Case Manager for the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), a nonprofit working with former refugees and members of the immigrant community. At AALV, Jeetan assists refugees and immigrants as they find employment, builds connections with employers, acts as a cultural advocate, and provides employees with the supports they need to succeed. Jeetan also serves as a founding member and chair of the development committee of Vermont's New American Advisory Council, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating impediments to opportunity and promoting civic engagement in New American communities.
Previously, Jeetan worked as a Young Adult Navigator at Spectrum Youth & Family Services, served as an AmeriCorps State Team Leader, and was a Youth Ambassador for the UN Sustainable Development Goals Project. He has several years of experience in small business leadership and has served on numerous boards and committees. Above all else, Jeetan values family and is proud to be a father, husband, and son.
He plans to donate a portion of the New Hope Award prize money to community members who are struggling financially to make ends meet. These funds will be available to all clients who visit AALV and can be utilized to provide emergency assistance.