Pious joined the Portland Empowered program in 2010 (11) since its inception at the City of Portland Refugee Service. When it relocated to the University of Southern Maine Cutler Institute in 2014, Pious followed. He is focused on creating opportunities for unengaged members of our community to be heard through their own voices and empowering young people to speak up for themselves. He is inspired by his work at PE because it gives a voice to all members of our community and provides a platform for students, families, and their school districts to engage each other and make education the best it can be for all students. He is committed to this work because it levels the playing field for students who have been left behind, and creates equity in a system that prepares young citizens from all backgrounds for participation in American democratic and public life. Among other things, Pious likes to meet new people and talk about public and civic engagement over a cup of tea.