June 2023 recap & updates
June 29th, 2023
June was an exhilarating month at Norwalk ACTS! We started the month by welcoming our esteemed StriveTogether colleagues from Baltimore's Promise, who shared their insightful case study on Grad2Careers, their workforce development initiative. Shortly after, our CEO, Jennifer Barahona, Community Engagement Coordinator, Anamilena Moreno, and the City of Norwalk DEI Officer, LaToya Fernandez, had an incredible experience at the StriveTogether Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, we hosted our Quarterly Convening, featuring a stimulating panel discussion on policy and an impressive showcase of our Community Engagement Initiative. We were immensely proud to receive the "Nonprofit of the Year" Award at the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Awards ceremony the following day!

We also had the pleasure of hosting an enlightening Parent Convening with the Connecticut Children's Collective, facilitated by our dedicated  Community Advocate Program. Last but not least, we were thrilled to see over 50 Out of School Time providers actively participate in the Norwalk ACTS Social Emotional Health Day of Training on June 21 at Jefferson Elementary School.

It has been a month filled with achievements, collaborations, and growth, and we are excited to continue positively impacting our community. Stay tuned for more updates on our upcoming endeavors at Norwalk ACTS!
Grads2Careers Case Study
On June 1st, in partnership with our national partner, StriveTogether, we hosted a Grads2Careers Case Study Event. This special event was to learn about Baltimore Promise's Grad2Careers Program, an impactful initiative improving outcomes for Baltimore's disconnected youth.
StriveTogether Policy Summit
Our CEO, Jennifer Barahona, Community Engagement Coordinator, Anamilena Moreno, and the City Of Norwalk DEI Officer, LaToya Fernandez, had an amazing experience at the StriveTogether Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.

During their time there, they had the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, learn from experts, and collaborate on strategies to promote equity at all levels of government. Their dedication to advancing equity is truly inspiring.

But that's not all! Guess whom Jennifer bumped into? None other than Congresswoman DeLauro! It's incredible seeing influential leaders unite to make a positive change.

We are incredibly proud of our team for representing our organization and their commitment to creating a more equitable society. Their participation in the summit will undoubtedly significantly impact our future endeavors.
June Convening
At our June Convening, the Community Engagement Team and our Community Advocates presented their data from their past year's work! It was thrilling to hear about their efforts and how they align with the goals of our Early Childhood Initiative.

Our membership then explored ways to boost civic action and engagement in our community with empowering panel discussions in collaboration with the office of the Secretary of the State. We were all inspired by our local politicians!

In addition to the engaging discussions, we also conducted the election for two new Board members who will serve in the coming year. We congratulate Orlando Aquino and Dajuan Wiggins for their successful selection. We would also like to express our gratitude to Rev. Elizabeth Abel and Cheryl DeVonish for their valuable service on the board.

The event concluded by recognizing two outstanding community leaders through our annual service awards. Dajuan Wiggins received the prestigious 2023 Ubuntu Award for his unwavering dedication and exceptional service to the Norwalk community. Similarly, Ralph Valenzisi was honored with the 2023 Sally Grose Award for his tireless support and diligent contributions as a Norwalk ACTS member.
Norwalk's Nonprofit of the Year
We were incredibly proud to be honored with the prestigious "Nonprofit of the Year" Award at the Small Business Awards ceremony hosted by the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. This recognition is a testament to our dedication and impact within the community. We are deeply grateful for this distinction and thank the Chamber of Commerce for their recognition and support.
Community Advocate Program
We had the opportunity to host a thought-provoking Parent Convening in collaboration with the Connecticut Children's Collective. Our devoted Community Advocate Program skillfully facilitated this event, ensuring an engaging and informative experience for all participants.
Social Emotional Health Day of Training
Over 50 Out of School Time providers participated in the Norwalk ACTS Social Emotional Health Day of Training on June 21 at the newly renovated Jefferson Elementary School. What a beautiful location!

The goal for the Day of Training was to build and reinforce skills to improve relationships for youth-serving adults, community-based organizations, and providers through training in developmental relationships, restorative practices, trauma-informed care, and culture competency training for at-risk groups.

Thank you to all participants, facilitators, NPS's Principal Cesar Nina, and Eisybell Garcia for helping create a great day of learning.