The Irish Emigrant
August 1, 2011

By Isaac Ross, IIIC Staff Writer

Former IIIC client, Irish immigrant Peter Rice, continues to support the Irish International Immigrant Center and now serves on the organization's board.

Peter Rice first encountered the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) years ago when he visited Boston as a J1 summer student. His life’s journey later took him to Japan, where he met his wife, an American citizen from Guam.

Peter eventually moved back to Boston where just three years ago he became a US citizen at Faneuil Hall. In Boston, Peter is enjoying a successful career in banking as a senior vice president at Eastern Bank. He has never forgotten the help he received along the way.

Since Peter first encountered the IIIC, the center has grown into a fully fledged multi-service center for Irish immigrants and others from over a hundred different countries.

“It may sound cheesy,” Rice says, “but I felt at home as soon as I got off the plane at Logan.”

Boston’s Irish community has always known how to welcome Irish immigrants, but they haven’t always known how to best help newcomers.

“Irish Americans are fiercely proud of their Irish heritage,” Rice explains, “but there is a disconnect between the Irish American community and the modern debate over immigration reform.”

Rice joined the IIIC Board in May to make a positive contribution to the lives of Irish and other immigrants, and to the debate on immigration reform.

He discovered that his co-worker, Eastern Insurance Group President and CEO, Hope Aldrich, was a long time supporter and friend of the IIIC and even served on the advisory board.

He said, “I thanked her, and explained that the center helped me as a J1 summer student, and when I later returned to Boston in search of a job.” When Peter then had the opportunity to meet Sister Lena Deevy, L.S.A. at an IIIC event, he was honored to be asked to join the board.

As a former beneficiary of the IIIC, Rice brings a valuable perspective and a positive attitude to the organization. He will help keep the IIIC compassionate, pragmatic, and focused in its mission, thereby keeping the American dream alive for thousands of Irish and other immigrants.