August 1, 2023

Indonesian Community Connect partnership will bridge access and career opportunities

Portsmouth, N.H. (August 1, 2023) – Two organizations with similar missions, Great Bay Community College (GBCC) and Indonesian Community Connect (ICC), have partnered together to improve the lives of citizens by building access to important educational and professional resources. Through this partnership, GBCC and ICC will connect New Hampshire’s Indonesian community to education, scholarship, and employment opportunities. In addition, the partnership will provide translation and interpretation services to assist in meeting the critical workforce needs across the state and the Seacoast region.

“For the Indonesian community, it is not just about the pathway into a credential, certificate, or degree, but addressing specific and core needs such as creating language support or programs for those who need it,” said Dr. Cheryl Lesser, Great Bay Community College president. “We take pride in individualized onboarding and care for our students and will focus on educational opportunities while honoring the culture and providing resources intentionally focused on the Indonesian community. This partnership with the Indonesian Community Connect builds on our support of the community and provides pathways to joyful and sustainable lives.”

ICC, a non-profit organization based in New Hampshire, was founded in 2017 with a focus on connecting the Indonesian community with the surrounding areas via educational, economic, and festive affairs. The purpose of the project is to promote the richness of the Indonesian cultural heritage. To facilitate mutual understanding across various cultures and values, the ICC acts as a central resource for stakeholders including the local community, local government, and collaborators in Indonesia.

“As part of ICC’s vision, we wanted to ensure educational pathways for our community and Great Bay Community College is the bridge to connect us to specific areas for careers in critical areas of need such as welding, early childhood, and healthcare as well as needs in broader areas such as business, technology, and biotechnology,” said Raude Raychel, president of ICC. “We are pleased to have GBCC be part of history in creating the first Little Indonesia in the world. The Importance of recognizing the Indonesian cultural diversity and its values deepens the understanding of the sense of pride, belonging, and place in the community they call home.”

As the first of its kind in the world, the Little Indonesia project’s long-term vision is to serve and support an Indonesian community in the Seacoast area. This project aims to connect the Indonesian communities within New Hampshire and beyond through the expression of art, culture, and economic opportunities. This is done through a vibrant, revitalized business district in Somersworth, New Hampshire where 19.2 percent of the population is of Indonesian heritage. The Tri-City Region of Somersworth, Dover, and Rochester is home to more than 5,000 members of the Indonesian population.

The two organizations will work together to provide scholarships, employment opportunities, professional development, and training courses. The partnership will begin by bringing ICC members to GBCC to meet with admissions, take a tour, and learn more about the college, its programming, and the resources available to assist in achieving success.

Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic, professional and technical education supporting workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth. The colleges offer associate degrees and career training in technical, professional, and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit


Photo: From left-to-right: Tom Andruskevich, GBCC chief business affairs officer; Dr. Cheryl Lesser, GBCC president; Raude Raychel, ICC president and founder; Ivana Tuati, ICC Indonesia secretary; Miles Lius, ICC Summer Intern 2023 from UNH. (Photo courtesy of GBCC)