Cradle to Career Regional Conference

A view of the networking taking place at the forum

On November 13, 2019 Bridgeport Prospers hosted the first Cradle to Career Regional Conference in Connecticut. The conference was a huge success! Jennifer Blatz, President and CEO of StriveTogether made the keynote address.

StriveTogether is a national movement with a clear purpose: help every child succeed in school and in life from cradle to career, regardless of race, zip code, or circumstance.

StriveTogether partners work in 29 states and Washington, D.C. Connecticut Communities that are part of the StriveTogether Network are: Waterbury’s Bridge to Success, Bridgeport’s Bridgeport Prospers, Norwalk’s Norwalk ACTS, and Stamford’s Cradle to Career. Blatz opined that system change should more accurately be described as system transformation; one of the benefits of system transformation is that there can be no finger pointing, but rather a shared accountability — everyone must contribute and take responsibility for the success and challenges of this life-changing work.

Allison Logan, Executive Director, Bridgeport Prospers

Blatz went on to moderate a lively and informative panel discussion comprised of Rob Cashel, President & CEO of the Family and Children’s Agency; Steve Kakab, President of Bridgeport Hospital Foundation; Dr. Tamu Lucero, Superintendent of Stamford Public Schools; and Maria Sanchez, Director of Grant Making & Community Investment for the American Savings Foundation. The panel was a well-balanced cross-sector of the benefits of the collective impact approach to community and philanthropic organizations. A point was made that when an organization moves from being in compliance to having a commitment, that is when meaningful and lasting change occurs.

The morning ended with Breakout Sessions where participants could choose from a panel of investors in-terested in the collective impact approach; the early childhood work being done in Bridgeport (Baby Bundles) and Norwalk (Pre-natal to 3rd grade initiative); and the equity work being done in Waterbury, and the college & career readiness work being done in Stamford. So many incredible initiatives and programs are being done on behalf of children and families in this region! It was truly an inspiring and energizing event!

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