While John White has been the unofficial face behind East Boston APAC since the 1970s, one of the neighborhood’s most vital social service programs, Amy Lima was the agency’s heart.
Since 1996, Lima, a lifelong Eastie resident who recently moved to Saugus, dedicated her time and energy to helping underprivileged families in the neighborhood. It was the same neighborhood where Lima was born and raised.
However, after 18 years on the job Lima is leaving her post as APAC’s executive director for a job with Saugus Public Schools.
“I am tremendously grateful for being a part of this agency, I feel like ABCD has raised me,” said Lima. “I have been employed here since I was 19 years old, this company, my community and my current and past co-workers have contributed to the person I have become, and for that I feel blessed.”
Lima added that APAC will forever hold a special place in her heart.
The size of Lima’s tiny office in Eastie contrasts with the extent of the APAC’s huge mission. As the Executive Director of East Boston APAC for the past 8 years, Lima has ensured that thousands of low-income families have access to crucial services, including pre-school and after-school programs; fuel assistance; summer jobs for youth; Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); senior programs and food pantry.
Under Lima’s leadership the Eastie APAC office became on of ABCD’s busiest locations in the city for EITC and Fuel Assistance. Over the years APAC’s Fuel Assistance Program grew from helping a few hundred residents from its beginning to several thousand. In addition, APAC became one of the busiest EITC sites in Boston and Lima and a small group of staff and volunteers returned over $1 million in tax credits back to Eastie families.
Lima joined ABCD 17 years ago as a SummerWorks counselor and WinterWorks program manager. After graduating from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Sociology/Anthropology in 2001, she returned to the APAC as a Senior Social Worker and Program Manager. Then completed a Masters degree in Education & will be pursuing further education in the fall to complete the teacher licensure path.
“I’m committed to the agency mission. I went from SummerWorks counselor to APAC director in 14 years. I worked hard and invested myself at ABCD and I am very grateful for the opportunities,” said Lima.
Five years later she was named Executive Director. She succeeded the legendary John White who is highly applauded for his long-term commitment and service to the Eastie community. He served as a mentor for Lima and is very proud of her accomplishments.
ABCD’s top leadership praised Lima’s enthusiastic and tireless work. “East Boston families depend on the APAC for so much and Amy (Lima) makes sure they get what they need to move forward,” said ABCD President/CEO John Drew. “Her commitment, intelligence and perseverance make a difference every day for the diverse, dynamic East Boston community. We are very proud of her.”