The Connecticut Opportunity Project, a Dalio Education initiative, invests in and helps strengthen youth-serving organizations in Connecticut so they can work effectively, reliably, and sustainably with severely off-track or disconnected young people ages 14 to 26 in order to help them re-engage in and complete secondary education or a credential, then transition successfully to a post-secondary pathway leading to satisfying employment at a living wage that supports their self-sufficiency.

Opportunity Project Quarterly:

First Quarter, 2024

CTOP Annual Report

It is 2024 and the team at the Connecticut Opportunity Project is excited to share with you all that we accomplished in 2023 together with our grantee partners. We completed our third year of implementing the CTOP ten-year social investment strategy and with that came many lessons learned in how we can best support young people in achieving success and organizations in strengthening their resilience.

We are grateful for the momentum that swelled as you all read “Connecticut’s Unspoken Crisis: Getting Young People Back on Track,” watched the series of roundtables hosted by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and viewed and shared the many op-eds and articles penned by non-profit leaders already in action supporting young people. This report, authored by the Boston Consulting Group, is one third of Dalio Education’s launched research series, so be sure to stay engaged to hear from young people themselves in a report from Community Science this spring, and learn about programs across the nation that are having an impact in young people’s lives, in a landscape scan from MDRC to be published next month.

Other highlights of the year include the number of active program slots our grantees delivered and the corresponding number of young people therefore likely to achieve intended outcomes of reconnecting to school and employment, which rose to 925 from 754, and CTOP’s new investment in Forge City Works.

Read our 2023 Annual Report to learn more about our work over the last year to support disconnected young people in Connecticut, and what’s ahead in 2024.

Read 2023 Annual Report

Grantee Partners in Action

Read an article by Mike Duggan, Executive Director of Domus Kids, that emphasizes the importance of consistency and continuity in developing transformational relationships to support young people.

Read the Article

Read about how the "Love Hartford Benefit Dinner" was able to successfully raise $2.2 million for Our Piece of the Pie to support 500 youth through the Hartford Youth Service Corps.

Read the Article

Read as Jackie Nazario-Santiago, Chief Executive Officer, describes how COMPASS Youth Collaborative helps young people develop key skills that help them gain employment and transform their lives.

Read the Article

The work of our grantees: Connecticut Violence Intervention and Prevention (CTVIP), Roca Inc., and COMPASS Youth Collaborative has not gone unnoticed as they became three of seven organizations awarded a three-year grant from the State Department of Public Health to serve more young people. Congratulations grantee partners!

Read the Article

Join us in congratulating Alivia Langley, CTVIP Program Manager, as she was recognized at the White House, receiving high remarks from Vice President Kamala Harris, for graduating from the inaugural cohort of the University of Chicago’s Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy.

Watch the Ceremony

CTOP Spreading the Word

Learning with Future Leaders and Practitioners

We are excited to share how Dr. Melissa Quan from Fairfield University’s Center for Social Impact is engaging with the BCG report in a unique and important way. She has a Community Engagement, Social Justice, and Social Change class that has baked "Connecticut’s Unspoken Crisis" findings into their spring semester syllabus.

In addition to reading the report and discussing its implications, this class will be conducting asset mapping of two communities in Connecticut. Students will take an exploratory dive into those communities and focus on how to set up a process for future town-by-town analysis. We are looking forward to following what they come up with.

Adhlere Coffy, Sr. Portfolio Director, was invited to join a “Data Sharing” meeting with the Hartford Opportunity Youth Collaborative.

This conversation emphasized the importance in organizations having access to high-quality data to further inform the important program services and strategic work occurring across organizations and institutions.

CTOP's leadership was invited to the Govenor’s Kids Cabinet to engage in a conversation and educate participants on the findings of the BCG Connecticut's Unspoken Crisis report.

This led to an engaging conversation with professionals across agencies, that have several overlapping responsibilities in protecting the health, safety, and access to educational opportunities of children.

CTOP's leadership was invited to join a JJPOC meeting to provide an overview of the data used to inform the BCG Connecticut's Unspoken Crisis report, as well as speak to the way BCG leveraged the wealth of P20 WIN's data.

As CTOP's leader on this report, Adhlere did a great job presenting on the definitional framework of the report so that all of us, who are invested in supporting young people, can better coalesce around shared terminology.

CTOP's leadership was invited to present at a Connecticut Youth Services Association’s Youth Service Bureau (YSB) Directors Roundtable.

This opportunity allowed us to have fruitful conversation with over 100 YSBs that represent 137 of Connecticut’s towns and cities, where we discussed the findings of the report, and the members shared their methods for assessing needs and coordinating programs and services for youth and their families within their communities.

CTOP leadership was also invited to take part in two roundtable events hosted by Connecticut's Business and Industry Association (CBIA) to discuss and reinforce the importance of developing pathways from education to the workforce.

We understand that business leaders who want to support young people experiencing disconnection, must have strong models of supportive employment to achieve that goal.

It was a great experience to discuss what those models could look like and hear from the business industry how they envision their participation in getting young people back on track.

On the Horizon

Through a qualitative research study, Community Science will expand our understanding of the lived experiences of young people who are disconnected by exploring their context and community.

This report will review the programs, practices, and policies across the country that are facilitative of, or create barriers to, supporting young people experiencing disconnection.