Caroline D

Caroline speaks with an authority and warmth that draws you in and instantly inspires confidence. It’s no surprise she was a news anchor in Kenya.

She may not be broadcasting live these days, but Caroline is still using her voice – advocating for her community as a consumer member of the Lowell CHC Board.

Growing up in Kenya, Caroline always dreamed of a career in journalism. “My dad really loved the news,” she shares. “I often read the newspaper aloud to him, like a news anchor.”

Caroline’s father always pushed for her and her siblings to get the best education possible. She worked hard and developed a deep appreciation for other cultures, dreaming of a career covering international news for CNN.

Thanks to her years of preparation, and a tip from a neighbor, Caroline got her big break on a national news show, eventually working her way up to prime time.

While she loved many things about the job, Caroline started to ask herself, what’s next? “I was going for the best – I wanted to keep reaching,” she recalls. So, armed with a decade of experience, she headed to Boston to attend Emerson College, one of the top media and communications schools in the region.

Caroline enjoyed a great camaraderie with her classmates – and even produced her own radio show – but after completing the program she began to feel disenchanted by the relentless hype of the media world. What, she wondered, was her true calling? This journey brought her to the last place she would have expected – Lowell.

One of the first things Caroline did was to begin volunteering at Living Waters, a center serving individuals who had experienced trauma.

“It’s what I really wanted to do – help people.”

On the first day, another volunteer opened the door for her. His smile instantly caught her eye. “My roommate told me that day that he was the one,” she laughs. Her roommate was right. They fell in love and got married. Soon, Caroline became pregnant.

That’s when she found the Health Center. “We felt cared for – right from the get go,” Caroline remembers.

“They listened to our values, listened to what we wanted to do.”

After her son was born, Caroline was paired with Dr. Donald Miller in Family Medicine. The two hit it off right away. In fact, it was Dr. Miller who recommended Caroline for the Lowell CHC Board. She was shocked. “I couldn’t believe it! When I got the call, I thought they had the wrong person!”

But Dr. Miller knew she would be the perfect fit. And he was right.

As a Board Member, Caroline was introduced to the inner workings of the Health Center and our mission to provide equitable health care access to all. The more she learned, the more she realized that she was exactly where she needed to be.

“Now, I think of Lowell as my City – I want to be part of making positive changes.”

These days, Caroline is busy homeschooling an energetic 7 year old and doing voice-over work. It may not be CNN, but in many ways, she feels as though the world is here at her doorstep.

“The Health Center is such a beautiful picture of immigration in this country. It has given so many people the opportunity to build their lives back up. That’s what I love about it. It’s not an approach you find anywhere else.”

Originally published in 2020 as part of the Health Center’s 50th Anniversary 50 Stories for 50 years program.