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Box East Haven, CT Join the 6 Shoreline Chambers in honoring 8 Women. Particpating Chambers of Commerce include: She is also a part-time Reference Librarian at Blackstone Library in Branford, and an active member of both communities.

You can find her at most town-wide events—from fireworks to fall festivals—fostering friendships and engaging with the community she loves.

Sarah grew up in East Haven and, in fact, Hagaman is where her lifelong love of books began. Visiting the library with her parents as a little girl, Sarah read veraciously. So much so that, when she was six, she won a top prize for most books read—a bubblegum machine—in the Summer Reading Contest. And while that may have been the year her future career was decided, there were many other stops along the way. Sarah is also an animal advocate who has fostered and rehabilitated numerous cats, kittens, and other animals over the past 20 years, helping them to find permanent, loving homes.

And while Sarah started college as a pre-vet student, she eventually decided that animal rescue was her passion, but not her future career path. Helping the people in her community was just as important to Sarah as helping animals. She began volunteering with the Branford Assembly of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, a community service organization for teens that promotes leadership and community activism for girls ages In working with this group—in helping teens to plan fundraisers for their community and encouraging them to explore their interests, to reach for their dreams, to embrace their talents—Sarah finally felt she was embracing her own gifts, as well.

As the Teen Librarian, Sarah took over a Teen Advisory Group started by the former Library Director, Karen Jensen, with just a handful of middle school students and a plan—to get teens more involved at Hagaman Library. Through this club, teens earn community service hours while, at the same time, developing a personal relationship with the library that will last into their adult lives.

They will come to the library, and use our resources, and learn, and grow here. Fostering this friendly environment—in which teens are not only welcome to attend, but encouraged to take an active role—has led to a number of new opportunities for teens in the town of East Haven.

Administered by the American Library Association, this panel allowed our local teens to share their opinions on a national stage, having their book reviews read by publishers and librarians across the country. When high school student Daniella Portal approached Sarah about partnering on a Senior Research Project on Monarch Butterflies being added to the Endangered Species List, Sarah could tell she was excited about her subject.

Together they created a program for the community. And while the program was attended by 43 people, and a butterfly release on September 7 was attended by 23 more, one teen got to see her ideas come to life; to make a measurable difference in the world. For Sarah, that was just as valuable of a service for the library to provide.

Acts have included singers; a cappella performances; song-writers; guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, and ukulele players; poets; short-story writers; standup comedians; and even a heavy metal band. The coffee house also provides opportunities for teens to get involved in all aspects of planning and promoting, from creating flyers, to a decorating committee, to emceeing the program, itself. As such, Sarah has been able to further expand the list of opportunities that Hagaman offers for teens.

Sarah recently started a second community service club—a Junior Teen Advisory Group—to encourage middle school students to embrace civic engagement from a younger age. A third club—the Young Adult Advisory Squad—is providing high school graduates with a chance to stay involved at the library into their young adult years.

With these three clubs working in conjunction, Hagaman can now provide a place for youth to belong throughout their adolescent years.

As the teens who visit Hagaman Library—and their interests—change with time, so will the focus of the programs Sarah offers. But at its heart, teen programming is about providing opportunities for youth to find their place in the world; opportunities to lead; opportunities to follow; opportunities to belong. With Sarah Mallory as their librarian, teens will always belong at Hagaman Library.

Sign up for our newslette For Email Marketing you can trust. Women of Excellence Award for East Haven. Wednesday, October 10,

CSAO: Cold Cases - Open

I saw how they took in everybody. Home was like a college dorm, Jorge says laughing. We had four bedrooms in that house and let me tell you, every one of them was utilized to the max! He was closest to his cousin Fernando Moreno-Rivas, who was a year and four days older and in constant competition with Jorge - in sports, cars and life achievements. We were both involved in our church, always holding can and bottle drives to give back to the community.

We both played soccer. We both excelled at math, but we both struggled in school at times because of the language barrier. We have a great group right now. My grandmother had, after years of working as a maid, in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, returned to night school, graduated and became a social worker. Alicia moved to Washington, D. She traveled the country, creating homeownership opportunities for families at all income levels, revitalizing neighborhoods from the bottom up.

NHPS was looking for a school social worker; it seemed like the right fit for me. She retired from the school district in June of only to be appointed a month later by Mayor Toni Harp to serve on the Board of Education, where she is currently Vice President. When asked why she agreed to serve on the Board of Education, Alicia highlighted not only her commitment to this district where her granddaughter attends school, but the important work to ensure that every student is ready to succeed in this ever-changing, complex world.

She wanted to be part of the process that manages that work. If education was a value impressed upon Alicia at a young age, so was commitment to her community. As an entrepreneur, she not only had gowns made for weddings, she established a relationship with Valencia Bakery in New York to have their cakes delivered to New Haven.

She was a florist, a photographer and a Justice of the Peace. My mother understood the importance of lifelong learning, regardless of your age, and that with hard work you can accomplish anything.

There is no question that my mother has been my mentor. Community service has been very important to Alicia as well. Alicia has recently begun to develop a reputation as mixed media artist. A collage workshop at Creative Arts Workshop many years ago sparked her interest to learn more.

Vibrant colors, making marks, brush strokes, scribbles, ethnic images, faces, maybe some words become a wearable piece of art that makes my heart sing. Alicia is also a two-time Fulbright Scholar, having participated in programs in Brazil and Argentina.

We obtained a grant that provided instruments, as well as music and art teachers who worked with students and staff at the school to produce incredible performances. Tragedy has served as motivation for Alicia, as well. She has lost a brother and her only child to gun violence. As a result, she has been very vocal throughout New Haven, raising awareness of the issues our community needs to address, particularly gun violence.

Nevertheless, Alicia says she is encouraged by the community activism she has seen throughout our Greater New Haven region and the country of late. Though it may be fueled by the political climate, as well as other recent national events, it is still symbolic of a larger shift in opinion of what will help everyone succeed.

I am encouraged by the community activism; I feel this is the time for our Latino community to be recognized as a powerful force in our region and in the nation. Director of Program, Talent Philanthropy. And, as a young student, she had no problems excelling in school.

Though her parents did not go to college, she was encouraged to, and Yolanda watched as her sister and a cousin went on to higher education after graduating high school. But when she began classes at the University of Connecticut, there were a few things for which she was unprepared.

Yolanda quickly found her niche, along with a few other Latinas having the same experience, through the Puerto-Rican and Latin American Cultural Center on campus. A bond was formed, and after that, she and seven of her classmates co-founded the Beta Sigma Alpha Sororidad Latina Inc. The sorority supported community service projects on campus and raised money to help the community.

She was back in Bridgeport, as well, in high demand because of her bilingual skills. She found herself in the middle of a system of families who had their children removed, and not enough foster families for all the children needing homes. She recognized that a better connection to community services would help so many of the families she was seeing.

It was a very complex problem, and I wanted to be part of a way to help prevent families from being separated, because it takes multiple generations to recover from a child being removed from a family. She moved into the philanthropic world, taking her knowledge and experience as a DCF social worker to help secure financial resources for organizations already working to prevent families from being impacted by child welfare issues, supporting youth and family development.

My work has always been about social justice. Yolanda has just become the first Director of Programs at Talent Philanthropy, a national campaign launched in to maximize foundation investments in a nonprofit workforce that is diverse, high-performing, impactful, and enduring.

Informed by an Advisory Council of stakeholders from across the nonprofit sector, and supported by several national foundations as well as local funders, Talent Philanthropy encourages investment in nonprofits to increase professional, leadership and career development opportunities, thereby increasing impact and sustainability of the nonprofit sector.

Prior to that, she was a program associate at the Annie E. I am proud that the Progreso Latino Fund, The Community Foundation and other partners are building this infrastructure to help Latinos to come to and remain in the state, legally. And, she has recently helped to rekindle a local group of Las Comadres, which is a national Latina social networking group, providing a supportive community for Latina professionals to share experiences, support, professional and personal connections, resources and networks.

We have the passion and the knowledge, and we have the ability to really do better. So, I applied the skills I had learned in the private sector to a nonprofit setting. Success with the Hartford Neighborhood Jobs Initiative led Padilla to more opportunities with other funders, building a successful consulting practice, and eventually to managing the national portfolio of workforce development investments at the Annie E. One of his biggest achievements at Casey came in , when he successfully persuaded Connecticut officials to apply for funding made available by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

The assistance helps people access significant money due to them through the earned income tax credit and deductions they might otherwise miss out on.

VITA brings back millions to the community. He was very much into trying to get kids to stay in school, to be proud of their Puerto Rican-ness, and to make something of themselves while not forgetting those less fortunate. He was the one who taught me that no matter where you go in life, you have to get involved and give back.

Leadership is about how you bring people along, build consensus, and get things done in ways that build community. Leadership is not about personal gain or harming others because they disagree with you. We all came from similar backgrounds — from working class families that valued education for their children — and we had all done pretty well.

We understood that we have to go into our pockets to support our own — no one is going to do that on our behalf. The way you build capital at The Foundation is by being a donor. Young kids need to understand that education is the one and only transformative activity that you control, that you can use to get ahead.

There is no other activity that I know of that has that power. You can be a successful athlete and blow out your knee. You can be a musician, and your moment passes.

But education is for a lifetime. And a good education provides the tools so you can reeducate yourself. I had people in my life who taught me many lessons - the most important was that I learned how to learn. Professionally, Santiago-Martinez has held leadership positions in economic development, finance and project management, and she has taught at Quinnipiac University's undergraduate Lender School of Business.

It was at his Hartford church where the Santiago family learned from members of the congregation that the migrant workers in nearby Windsor Locks were in need. We used to take all that food over to the tobacco fields where the migrant workers lived in large dormitory-style housing. I remember my sister and me as little kids giving them plates as my mom would dole out the food.

There were always lines that formed. That was our ritual every Saturday. Santiago-Martinez also watched her father organize voter registration drives at the church and encourage the congregation to vote in order to be heard. And my mom was the indefatigable force who every Sunday would walk the streets convincing parents to let their children attend Sunday school, while keeping an eye out for families in need.

That was the beginning of my interest in community service and community work. The town was becoming known as an inclusive community that was open to change. My sister and I were the only Latinas in the school. And yet, growing up in Bloomfield helped me to become the person I am today. Living there, I learned to understand other people. We were in the minority. But we exchanged ideas, and I learned about their lives and they learned about mine.

Bloomfield was a place where people were okay with differences. Even though Santiago-Martinez was on the academic track in high school, it was in a typing and stenography class where she learned some of her most important lessons.

She was very hard on us. There were seven young ladies in that class. She would say you have to be twice as good, three times as good to get to where you need to be. She was all about excellence. She was all about doing well. She set an example with her value system. To this day, that credo drives me because quality matters. Another profound influence on Santiago-Martinez was her involvement with Aspira, the Latino youth leadership organization founded by Antonia Pantoja.

She had met Pantoja in in Washington, D. As a teenager, Santiago-Martinez was connected by the Neighborhood Youth Corps to a summer and after-school job at the local agricultural extension center. There was a different tenor in our community. I think that people really tried hard to make sure that young people were ready.

Respect is a big deal for me. If you live by a certain set of values and people respect you for those values, 90 percent of your success is achieved.

The second is having passion for what you do and what you believe. If you influence people and bring them along to join you in that passion, success is sustained. She is the third of 10 sisters and three brothers. All graduated from Richard C. Sharing Opportunities Throughout her career, Rodriguez-Reyes has been generous with sharing opportunities and giving back.

At La Voz, she provides internships to high school students and brings them with her on business meetings. She made sure to bring two teenage interns along with her. Well, in school you had to do gym. And when you did gym you wore pants.

Thank God my parents drew the line in terms of the rules of our church and our education, and I would wear pants for gym. She was so happy that she would be able to go to work. My father asked her to see the social security card, and he tore it up. She spoke only Spanish until the fifth grade. By the time she reached UCONN, however, speaking Spanish was something she wanted to hide because at that time it was not fashionable to be a Latina.

I wanted to be what the role models were. They were all American who spoke perfect English with no accent. Shortly after graduating, she went to a Puerto Rican parade pageant in New Haven. The first Hispanic event she had ever attended, it was a transformative experience. I remember being so proud when I saw these young girls competing from all the different cities and towns in Puerto Rico. That was my first time feeling really proud of being Hispanic.

Since then I made the commitment, when I became the President of La Voz, to give a thousand dollar scholarship to whoever wins the statewide pageant. She also sympathizes with younger people who feel, like she once did, ambivalent about their heritage.

You feel pressure from all sides. Those are the idiosyncrasies that you have to understand to really survive in this generation. As the head of the daily operations of a New Haven manufacturer of jet engine components, Pedro Soto is on top of the latest aerospace technology. He also has a deep interest in preserving the past. When Soto took over operations at Space-Craft, the company founded by his father, it was primarily a supplier of replacement parts to the military.

In order to win orders for the next generation of jet engines, the company had to take risks, invest in new technology, and adapt its processes. They are now part of a resurgent American manufacturing sector. The backlogs on these aircraft are record breaking. These new planes have incredibly more efficient engines, so they pay for themselves quickly. We have at least one part in every single next-generation engine from Pratt and Whitney and GE.

For a forty-four person company, that is a neat thing to say. A graduate of Hopkins School and Amherst College, where he majored in political science, Pedro had an interest in computers. His first jobs were with a dot-com start-up and later as a systems administrator for Yale Information Technology Services.

He asked me to come help. I love being responsible for making something. I love the fact that we are making a product, that it comes in as a big piece of metal, and it goes out as a part, a tangible product. After mastering his trade as a machine operator, he worked his way into management, and eventually founded Space-Craft Inc. Pedro sees his father as a mentor, though they have different approaches to leadership. I tend to look at systems and processes. For me, I have to attack a problem from a broader view and get consensus.

Because of his position as a business leader, Pedro has been asked to sit on volunteer boards throughout the city.

As the president of the New Haven Preservation Trust, he helped the organization climb out of a deficit with a successful campaign during its 50th anniversary celebration.

In another time and place I would have been a historian. I think you have to celebrate the history and remind people that one of the reasons New Haven is New Haven is because of its history and its architecture.

Growing up, Soto had to contend with the biases of peers who had never known any prosperous Latinos. For Soto, a sign of progress will be when the success of Latinos is no longer questioned. But he also wonders what will happen when Latinos are no longer a minority group. Or are we going to do what people did to the Irish. At some point, we might become just as intolerant. Sucua Morana-Santiago , Ecuador.

At Wilbur Cross High School, Padilla volunteered for CT Students for a Dream, which successfully advocated for the in-state tuition bill for undocumented students. As a college freshman, he co-founded New Haven Reach, a student volunteer organization that helps undocumented and underrepresented New Haven high school students access higher education.

Born in a small town in southern Ecuador, Padilla was raised by his grandmother and uncle after his mother and father had left for the United States. He was making more money doing minimum wage jobs here than as an entry-level professional back home. That was how I was able to recognize them. But on his first day of school, Padilla was put at ease when he was amazed to discover that the principal was fluent in Spanish.

One of the reasons I have always loved New Haven is because of its schools. Christopher Columbus School, which I attended, made my transition and my assimilation into this culture simpler and better because everyone spoke Spanish at school. At Wilbur Cross High School, Padilla would see Yale student-volunteer tutors and mentors come in at the beginning of each school year, an experience that opened his eyes to what was needed for students like him.

So I always felt that voice was missing. I wanted to have a voice for my community. I started noticing what needed to be done for my people and for the underrepresented.

Padilla volunteered for the student rights organization, CT Students for a Dream and began working with counselors and administrators at Wilbur Cross, many of whom were unaware of the challenges faced by undocumented students like him.

He then turned around to give back. He and his best friend, who was at Yale, created New Haven Reach, a volunteer organization that helps undocumented and underrepresented high school students apply to colleges and scholarships.

I remember I had five guidance counselors helping me out at Cross, and I had other programs that supported me, and it was still tough to get into college. So we knew that there were a lot of kids in New Haven who had the potential to go to college, just like myself, but needed that extra push.

If we stay in the shadows, nothing happens. Five years ago, it was practically impossible to go to college for undocumented students. The changes that have since occurred at the state and federal level for Dreamers were because of the work of thousands of unafraid undocumented students. My success is highly correlated with the 4th-grade teacher who made me dream bigger even though I was ashamed of my status, counselors that provided help throughout high school and college, and by my parents who arrived to work the lowest jobs in this country to give me a better life.

I believe as Latino leaders we need to complement the goals of the school system by tutoring, mentoring and volunteering. One of about Catholic Worker Houses around the country, Amistad is dedicated to helping people in crisis, serving hot breakfast and lunch to whoever walks through the door. And the work goes far beyond feeding the hungry. As a young girl growing up in the Bronx, Luz Catarineau Colville would hear her father say that her immediate family members were the only people who really mattered.

He believed that no one else was going to help her, so she should only think about taking care of herself and her parents. But that never felt genuine to Luz.

And at the age of 17, she had a life-changing experience when she converted to Catholicism. This is what I needed to do. When I read the Bible I took it literally. And I thought it was about helping others and not about you. I believe your salvation is with the other. As a young woman, Catarineau Colville became involved in a community organizing effort to protect neighborhood schoolchildren from the drug dealers who would lurk in the school playground. The neighbors tried to pressure officials to install a fence to keep the dealers out, but there was a lot of back and forth without any action.

Then she attended a community organizing training session offered by her parish. Colville earned the trust of the neighbors and helped them build the relationships they needed to get the fence installed. After falling in love and marrying, Luz and Mark were given an opportunity by Father Tom Goekler, a long time mentor to Mark. Goekler owned a house on Rosette Street in New Haven that he was renting to low income families and students, and he gave it to the Colvilles so they could turn it into a Catholic Worker House.

Embarking on this new phase of her life, Luz drew inspiration from the Bible. Rosette Street is in the Hill neighborhood, where crime rates have been high for decades. When the Colvilles first moved there, the leader of the notorious Latin Kings gang lived next door. Drug dealers were a fixture on the nearby corner and people were scared to go outside.

Instead of calling the police, however, Luz and Mark started building relationships with neighbors and meeting the drug dealers head on. Some dealers would move on while others accepted the Colvilles' invitations to meals. One of the worst dealers stopped dealing entirely, turned his life around, and now keeps a watchful eye on the street.

People call me Mother Colville. I have many, many kids. Our neighbors are in full support of what we do. They get together and say this is our neighborhood, and we shine lights on what is going on here and drug dealers are not going to last here very long. Eventually, they move on. Five days a week, the Amistad Catholic Worker House serves people for breakfast and people for lunch, which requires managing a team of volunteers and accepting donations of food and supplies.

They remain open during snowstorms and other times when the soup kitchens may be closed. We try to respond to them in their period of crisis. In this environment of serving others, the Colvilles raised four children and a niece and a nephew. Beyond serving meals, Luz says the most important aspect of their work is getting to know the people who come through the door and suspending judgment.

Work with them where they are and build up from that. All they want to be able to do is live self sufficiently. A lot of people are scared. I go in and do what I need to do. Being married to Mark is just as difficult. Mark and I have been married 25 years. Catarineau Colville learned Spanish in college and has continued to value Latino culture. We need to be building each other up not tearing each other down.

Saul Cardenas resided in Colombia until his teenage years, when escalating violence prompted he and his family to seek asylum in the U. Arriving in Miami, Saul went to live with an older brother who had emigrated five years earlier. His parents followed, leaving almost everything behind, except for their work ethic and determined spirit.

Like every other immigrant here, I have done it all: With Spanish his native tongue, Saul knew he would have to learn English if he was to become a doctor. He enrolled in community college but found the language barrier a bigger deterrent to his aspirations than he originally imagined. Cardenas credits his parents for instilling in him the importance of working hard for something you believe in, the desire to help others and a sense of community.

As a child, my father was delivering newspapers from his bicycle at four in the morning back in Colombia; today, he is a doctor. He proudly made sure that we always knew that story growing up. While working and attending school in Florida, he volunteered in his spare time to build houses for those in need. When he moved to Connecticut, Saul provided pro bono legal services for immigration and trafficking cases through the International Institute of Connecticut.

One of the first files he worked on hit home. It was an immigration case of extended family seeking asylum, just as his family had done years earlier. I made every possible phone call and filed every possible document that I could.

That was a great feeling, because I could help. In the clinic, Saul helped individuals who were in deportation proceedings,and in some cases, stopping them from going back to war zones. In one case, he helped reverse the deportation order of a Mexican farmer who had fled the drug cartels after they killed his family and took his land.

The farmer now has permanent residency in the U. Help comes in different ways. Success is when you inspire others to create opportunities for themselves. I hope to inspire others to achieve success not because of my ethnicity, race or the adversity I faced, but because of my hard work to overcome any of those obstacles.

In , Velazquez helped New Haven Family Alliance launch the Juvenile Review Board, which works with students who have been arrested for the first time or face potential expulsion or suspension so that they stay in school and do not receive criminal charges. Velazquez and her staff use a model known as restorative justice. The program has since expanded to Hamden, and Velazquez is sitting on a citywide workgroup to incorporate restorative justice throughout the New Haven Public Schools.

Not just to the direct victim, but to everybody around them that they impacted including their family and including themselves. When there is a disconnect with the school, then we really work on trying to rebuild that relationship. If the kid or the parent is upset with the school, we need to fix that. We need to repair whatever harm was caused.

Nobody is doing anything with it. There was an after-school program there and a summer camp. Velazquez lived with her mom until she was 12 years old, then her grandmother, and was bounced around to several different families across New Haven.

Despite a rough childhood, Velazquez always had adults looking out for her. At 14 she took her first job with Youth at Work as a camp counselor. Velazquez says that she has since healed her relationship with both parents after a long period of reflection. I believe that a lot of things that happened to them were because of their environment and circumstances.

I believe that my mom is a great human being with a great heart, and she struggles with some things for which she has never received support but should have through the years. We all have things that we have to work on. An active student, Velazquez graduated from Career High School and was accepted to three colleges. She chose Western Connecticut State University, where she volunteered as a math tutor and for the suicide prevention hotline. But she soon became overwhelmed and dropped out after a year.

Returning to New Haven, Velazquez immediately began working secretarial and restaurant jobs, sometimes two or three at a time to make ends meet. After several years waiting tables, she quit after becoming fed up with the way a woman coworker was being treated.

The best way to help someone else is by showing them. Velazquez took her passion in helping youth to the Job Corps, where she was the admissions counselor for several years.

Then, a young man she had helped place with a program in Massachusetts was shot and killed, followed by another shooting death of an acquaintance. I was so upset that I decided to look for another job where I could intervene earlier, so I could provide support for young people and help them make good choices before something bad happens.

A friend told her about a job opening at New Haven Family Alliance for a case manager. Velazquez jumped at the opportunity, and within a few months was promoted to help create and lead the Juvenile Review Board. I am meant to help make change and give a voice to those who feel their voices are not being heard.

Velazquez said she values the cultural traditions passed down from one generation to the next, something she shares with the Progreso Latino Fund , which celebrates the rich and proud culture of the Latino community.

I believe that being connected to the culture somehow is so important. Being proud of where you come from is important. I think we can bring our culture here without losing it. My fear is that accepting what is considered normal, people let go of who they are. Sometimes we have to unlearn some things to teach ourselves who we are.

Activist, community organizer, and now senior manager with the United Way, Ricardo Henriquez is dedicated to fighting injustice and poverty. I was the first one in my family to go to college - in my entire family. My mother had 9 brothers and sisters I had over 30 cousins. Until Henriquez was 18 years old, Chile was ruled by a dictatorship. We were the poor that were not that bad because my parents made big sacrifices. We always had something to eat.

After graduating with a journalism degree, Henriquez quickly landed a job with a newspaper in the capital city, Santiago. I thought I was really special.

As the newest reporter on staff, he was put on the labor beat because no one else wanted it. By a stroke of luck, the labor spokesperson was appointed to the Presidential Palace. Because of his relationship with the spokesperson, Henriquez was promoted to cover the office of the President. After three years, Henriquez became restless and sought a new adventure. In , he immigrated to the United States, landing in New Haven, where he had several friends, with a plan to eventually move to New York.

Henriquez came to the U. S thinking the he would easily walk into a good job and continue living the charmed life he had had in Chile. He was badly mistaken. With no other options, Henriquez started working in restaurants, first as a dishwasher and, then, moving up to waiter. I saw a lot of horrible things, in those years being a server. Not so much against me. Of course, I am Latino and I have an accent, but the thing that affected me the most was the way that women were treated and the sexual harassment that was happening at so many of the places I worked and nobody was doing anything.

These women were not saying anything because they needed the job they had. Angered by the abuse from bosses and insults by customers, Henriquez went to a May Day rally. He discovered a new calling — community organizing. Then I became serious and became an organizer. He then joined Unite Here at Yale, first as administrative staff and later becoming a community organizer. He dived in to local politics, running campaigns and organizing field workers for candidates.

It made me realize that people can make you feel like nobody when they have the power to do that. I started giving back when that clicked. She also taught me about trust. You do not always have to understand what someone is asking you to do if there is trust in the middle. Henriquez now oversees strategy and investment in financial security for United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.

It was completely well-intended. They were trying to show that minorities get the short end of the stick and that we should do something about it. But we also need to highlight the great things the Latino community does and has.

Immigrants bring so much of what is great in the world to this country. That has to be highlighted more. The two moved to New York in the mid 70s, where they worked in bodegas and corner grocery stores. The young couple then relocated to Bridgeport and started a family. In addition to having a biological sister, she grew up with many foster siblings.

She estimates that her parents fostered upwards of children and teenagers over the years. She had love to give and this made it easy for her to share it. Before becoming a foster parent, she studied to become a certified nursing assistant and worked in a nursing home. She eventually left that field of work to dedicate herself full time to us -- my sister, me and the foster children placed with us.

Many of the foster children lived with them as temporary placements, but several stayed for five to six years. The home became a magnet for other teenage friends in the neighborhood.

I was always the oldest. When I was in high school there were seven of us at home and we were all high school students. So it was a lot of fun. Yari turned her personal experience as a member of a foster home into a professional career with the Department of Children and Families. As Director of Change Management, she oversees policy changes to fix systems that are not working or are inconsistent. Part of her work involves giving a voice to the adolescents under DCF care.

One recent success was a sibling bill of rights that will provide a process for foster children to visit brothers and sisters. Another was the development of criteria for obtaining a drivers license.

There were some regions where the requirements were applied differently and kids talk. Growing up, Yari remembers her family would reach out to families in crisis with meals. As an adult, her efforts have centered on volunteering and serving on nonprofit boards. I ushered folks to their seats. Yari is active with the New Haven Juvenile Review Board, which gives students who have been arrested for the first time an alternative to the criminal justice system.

She also volunteers for True Colors, which develops programming and services for gay youth. She attended her first PLF forum, and it was a life altering moment for her. Often, when you are doing this work, you feel like you are alone. And when I looked around the room, I thought, no we are not.

How do we capitalize on this? How do we take this energy and move it forward with some of the issues that are affecting our own people in the community. We want to show our young people, and even ourselves, that there are more of us out there and that we are doing such great things for ourselves and our community. Latinos have interests in so many different things and there are opportunities to work together. Jorge Perez was born in Havana, Cuba, to parents who were anti-communists.

The family received political asylum from the United States after his mother was at risk of being shot for her political views. They fled, relocating to the Bronx. Life in the Perez household was hard. When Perez was a sixth grader, he caught the chicken pox and missed so many days from school that he was held back from seventh grade, even though he had mastered his subjects. Disappointed, he repeated the familiar lessons and by the end of the year was eager to move on.

Nobody in this family has ever gone to college; half of the family never even graduated from high school, including myself and your mom. He entered Troup Middle School and aced his first marking period with one exception — a C grade in Mrs.

He thought she must have made a mistake and went to see her after class. Your thoughts are good, you write pretty well, but your verb tenses are terrible. He went to the principal and asked to be moved to a different class. So I had to learn how to do my verb tenses if I wanted to do better than a C grade. The first in his family to go to college, Perez graduated from Richard C.

He oversees a department with approximately employees. Throughout his life, Jorge Perez has stayed committed to the Hill neighborhood, one of the poorest, highest crime areas of the city. I love the neighborhood.

He was first inspired to enter local politics through an experience he had as the treasurer of a newly formed nonprofit. So I decided to run against him and I won. During his tenure on the Board of Aldermen, Perez has served as president twice and was the finance committee chairman for a decade.

Like I tell people, even when I die I will continue to live in the Hill since I bought my plot in the cemetery located in the neighborhood. My daughter was born and raised [in the neighborhood], and she will be graduating from Yale University in May. And hopefully she will not move more than a few blocks away from where she was raised.

You have to get educated. You have to work hard. You have to consistently improve yourself. Principal of Worthington Hooker K-2 School. Evelyn Robles was born and raised in a small town in central Puerto Rico. She was the youngest of seven children. My father died when I was 13, so my mother took the lead. She never remarried; she was just devoted to us. Growing up, she saw her older brothers and sisters start working as young teenagers and take full-time jobs as soon as they graduated high school.

You need to go to school. You need to go to college. You need to be a professional. You have the potential. And your father was always telling you that you were going to go to college. At 22 years old, she set off with her mother to Connecticut, where one of her sisters had relocated.

In Puerto Rico, we learn English as a second language in school, but we never practice. So, it was important to me to become fluent. Robles career plan of becoming an accountant got off the ground when she was hired by a small firm in Hartford. However, she quickly realized she had made a mistake. She hated spending time in a small office doing numbers. By chance, she met the bilingual supervisor for a local vocational-technical school system who encouraged her to become a bilingual teacher.

Robles found a part-time job as a teacher and never looked back. These students really needed help. I truly loved it and decided that I needed to become a real teacher. I truly, truly found what I wanted to do. There she encountered new challenges. I needed to compete with native English-speaking students.

Some of the challenges were resources. I went to school on scholarships. My family was very supportive, but they were not professionals. I had the moral support. Getting used to the system was also difficult for me. It was difficult, but at the same time, what helped me through all of it was the support of my family. During this time everything started happening at once for Robles. She became engaged, married, and started her family, all the while working full time and studying for her masters and doctorate.

I did all that. She was a very structured, meticulous, and powerful woman. I feel it is my responsibility, especially to children and young adults. Right now, everything depends on them. They need to create a strong character. Many towns have retained the town meeting or have substituted the representative town meeting. County government was abolished in County lines exist today only for statistical purposes. The community and the state have become increasingly involved in health and medical care.

Most people live within 10 miles 16 km of hospital services, and doctors and other medical personnel are numerous. There are many community health clinics in addition to the advanced medical centres of the University of Connecticut, located in Farmington , and of the Yale—New Haven Hospital.

In relation to most states, Connecticut has provided generous welfare benefits. Departments for the elderly and for children and youth services have been established to meet the special needs of communities.

Nonetheless, the state joined the national effort to reduce welfare costs, establishing workfare mandated employment programs for those on public assistance rolls and deinstitutionalizing many who had been in mental health facilities. This has been done amid sometimes heated debate and—as elsewhere in the country—has put added pressure on law enforcement and health care services. Much work in rehabilitating urban areas remains to be done, however, especially in residential neighbourhoods.

There is also a shortage of lower- and middle-income housing. Connecticut, a pioneer of the American free-enterprise system, has also been a leader in enacting social legislation. The first child-labour law was passed in , but it was ineffectual, and hundreds of children continued to work long hours in the textile mills. A labour department was set up by the state in , and since then hundreds of laws and regulations have been enacted to control working conditions and compensation, addressing matters such as the length of the workday, minimum wage rates, equal pay for equal work, and similar concerns.

State departments supervise banks, insurance companies, and the public utilities, and in the Department of Consumer Protection was organized to consolidate several existing agencies. From the earliest days, every town has been required to maintain public elementary schools and, as the town grew in size, secondary schools as well. The state has long had a complex formula for providing local school aid, but public schools have often been underfunded.

Schools, to some degree, have reflected the racial imbalance of residential patterns, a situation that has continued to engage the legislature and the courts in efforts to provide a remedy. Connecticut is renowned for its many private schools and colleges. Public higher education has expanded considerably.

The university has several branches, including a law school in Hartford and a medical school in Farmington. In addition, there are four state university campuses and more than a dozen community-technical colleges.

Connecticut provides a variety of landscapes: In the towns, hundreds of houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries are preserved by more than local or national historical societies. Perhaps the best-known is Mystic Seaport and Maritime Museum in Mystic , where a small New England seaport has been re-created with all its ships and shops. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike the many miles of trails and camp in the 30 state forests or 90 state parks that in all cover some square miles square km.

Colourful autumn foliage draws large numbers of visitors to Connecticut and the rest of New England. Sport fishing, particularly for bluefish, is popular in Long Island Sound. Two large gambling casinos operated by Native Americans also attract many visitors. Art exhibitions are held annually in many cities, a number of which have art galleries and museums.

Symphony concerts and concerts by smaller groups are presented regularly in the larger communities. Several educational institutions have public concerts throughout the year. Repertory companies operating in or near resort areas in the summer include the Westport County Playhouse in Westport and the Oakdale Musical Theatre in Wallingford.

The Yale School of Drama founded was the first such school at an institution of higher learning. Southwestern Connecticut is also within easy reach of the vast artistic resources of New York City. Daily and weekly newspapers are abundant in Connecticut. The Hartford Courant is the oldest continuously published city newspaper in the country; it began as a weekly paper in and became a daily in Yale University Press is a major academic publisher that is recognized throughout the world.

Paleo-Indians inhabited the Connecticut region some 10, years ago, exploiting the resources along rivers and streams. They used a wide range of stone tools and engaged in hunting, gathering, fishing, woodworking, and ceremonial observances. They are thought to have been seminomadic, moving their habitations during the year to use resources that changed with the seasons.

By the time of European contact, local Algonquian-speaking peoples, including the Pequot , Mohegan , and Nipmuc , were living in settled villages. They cultivated crops such as corn maize , beans, squash, and tobacco in addition to subsisting on locally abundant wild plants and animals.

In contrast to many of the other New England areas, relations between Native Americans and the early settlers in Connecticut were good. Trading posts were established along the Connecticut River by the Dutch from New Amsterdam and by the English from the Plymouth colony, but the first permanent European settlers in the state came from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the middle Connecticut River valley during —35 Hartford, founded by Thomas Hooker and to the Saybrook—New Haven coastal strip during — In the Connecticut River settlements and the New Haven colony were united, and the general outline of the state emerged, although its borders were not finally demarcated until , more than years later.

The New Haven colony was unsuccessful in an attempt to settle Delaware Bay , and the united Connecticut colony, despite its charter provisions, lost its claim to a strip of land extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. In several thousand militiamen from Connecticut joined in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Connecticut was not occupied by British armies as were its neighbouring states but did experience several British raids.

The harshest of these was against Fort Griswold in New London in ; patriot-turned-traitor Benedict Arnold of Norwich led the assault, and some 80 patriot defenders were massacred following their surrender in the aftermath of a fierce battle. In the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia was on the verge of collapse when Roger Sherman of New Haven and Oliver Ellsworth of Windsor offered the Connecticut or Great Compromise , which served the interests of both large and small states by suggesting a bicameral legislature with one house based on population and the other on equal state representation.

As the country began to expand westward in the postwar period, settlers from Connecticut with claims in the Midwest were among the first to move into an area that became known as the Western Reserve now northeastern Ohio. The political development of the colony began with the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut , a civil covenant by the settlers establishing the system by which the river towns of Windsor , Hartford, and Wethersfield agreed to govern themselves. The orders created an annual assembly of legislators and provided for the election of a governor.

The constitution of disestablished the Congregational church , which had been the officially sanctioned church of Connecticut since its days as a colony. That constitution also established the separation of powers. Connecticut remained an agricultural region of farms with a few small urban areas—Hartford, New Haven, New London, and Middletown—until the early 19th century. The state economy began to change after , however, when textile factories were established, and, by , employees in manufacturing outnumbered those in agriculture.

The shift to manufacturing had been aided by the inventive genius of a number of Connecticut residents. Eli Whitney , well known for his invention of the cotton gin in , developed the idea of machine-made parts for guns. An order for muskets from the federal government enabled him to build a musket factory in Hamden.

The principle of interchangeable parts , adapted to clock manufacturing by Eli Terry of Plymouth in , rapidly became basic to all manufacturing. The economic, social, and political innovations that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries were often resisted at first, but eventually they were accepted. Slavery was first attacked by legislation in ; although abolitionist sentiment was strong in Connecticut, it was not universal, and slavery was not abolished completely in the state until

New Haven, CT . New Reach began as a 10 unit homeless shelter for women and their children and immediately began to see. Man: 'Voices' Made Him Kill NY Woman - New Haven, CT - The man is NEW YORK (AP) - A man accused of killing a New York City woman he met on a dating app says voices in his head made him do it. New Haven Police Look To Dispel False Rumors. 3mos FAQs · Contact Patch · View All Patches. Woman dies following West River water rescue in New Haven Police searching for shoplifter at Hamden Kohl's NEW HAVEN, Conn.