May 30, 2010
I first became familiar with CONNECT in 2005 as an instructor for the Cornell University Family Development Training and Credentialing Program. This course is designed to empower staff to work in more empowering ways with families. I continue to deliver the training, under the sponsorship of the NYC Administration for Children's Services Head Start Training Institute, to Head Start staff / front-line workers from all boroughs. These workers often are called upon to provide support and resources to families where domestic violence and other specialized services are needed. One of the students in the class was a Latino male, Marlon Walker, who, at the time, volunteered for CONNECT and has since has become a valued staff member for the organization.
I was impressed and inspired by his passion for CONNECT and the work it was doing to provide domestic violence services in NYC. The fact that he was a Latino male engaged in this work was particularly striking to me since I had rarely met males in this field before.
As part of my background, I have been a victim of and victor over domestic violence. My sensitivity to the subject increased during my four-decade career working with Head Start staff and families and when faced with the issue of domestic violence within my extended family.
Curious following Marlon's presentation to our class related to the comprehensive services CONNECT provides, I began attending their training programs and collaborated with CONNECT to avail their services to the broader NYC Head Start community and with the NYC agency providing child protective services. CONNECT also provided excellent workshops at conferences sponsored by the Family Development Association of New York State and NYC Region.
I found all their training programs extremely informative, interactive, if not actually transformational. They also embraced family development principles. Those addressing male involvement were of particular importance since that was a prominent subject within the Head Start community. Participants came from diverse community and government based programs. Their training and otherwise related events were delivered by knowledgeable in-house staff and experts in the field.
Of particular note are the comprehensive and varied services it provides from preventing bullying to engaging men in the fight against domestic and family violence.
It is an honor to be an advocate for CONNECT and promote its service within the Head Start and family development communities of NYC and New York State. It is a quality organization from its leadership to the pursuit of its mission.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
Direct family service providers benefit from the skills they develop as a result of their training programs, the resources they can utilize and share with families and, ultimately, the families themselves.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Maximize its funding, expand the reach of its services, have it serve as a model for other family violence service programs and clone its staff.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...
the combined passion and expertise it brings to its work.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...
impressive. They are dedicated to the mission of ending family violence and bring creative thinking and programs to reach this goal.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...
Serve as a national model for and share their expertise with other similar organizations.
Ways to make it better...
I had the time and energy to devote to supporting the work of this organization.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...
the times we are living in resulting in more stress and concomitant violence and abuse in families, and the tragic budget cuts that reduce the reach of this excellent organization.
One thing I'd also say is that...
that I have tried to say it all already.
How frequently have you been involved with the organization?
About every month
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
Donor & I have been a supporter of CONNECT for several years as a donor, as well as a participant in their training programs .