When I was working for the medical society, a lot of the community outreach I did, over and above working with the clinics directly, was with what I called, ‘shadow communities.’ Those are people you wouldn’t even know exist in this city, but there are thousands of them. You know, all the people who work in the kitchen of a restaurant, that kind of thing. And I’m sure—I never asked, I never asked—but some are illegal, most are not, just trying to seek out a living on the first generation level so the kids can do a little bit better later. So those are the people I worked with.
Leanore F. Bona, known by most as Lee, was born on Long Island, New York in 1949. Lee is the President of the League of Women Voters in Worcester, Massachusetts. She defines herself as a nontraditional woman who has never married or had children, but rather has dedicated her life to helping those around her. In this interview, Lee discusses her family history, various educational pursuits, and several successful careers, especially within the Worcester League of Women Voters. Lee touches on the League’s successes under her presidency and offers insight into the future of the League. Aside from her work with the League, Lee has worked as a lawyer for “non-traditional” clients, registrar at Columbia University, free clinic liaison for the Worcester Medical Society, and injury prevention coordinator for the UMass Memorial System. She has also served on the Boards of Seven Hills Foundation and Abby’s House.