Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity and Nonprofits Partner to Create Equitable Opportunities for Hispanic Youth

Sep 27, 2022

(Norwalk, CT) Sept. 27, 2022 — Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to pay tribute to generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation.

It’s also an opportunity to look ahead to an emerging generation that is poised to play a leading role in shaping our community’s future.

With more than one in five of Fairfield County residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino – and 30 percent of the county’s Hispanic population being under the age of 17 – it is important for our community’s long-term success to ensure that this rising generation has equitable access to educational and career resources that will prepare them for the future.

That’s why the Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity (FCBCEE) is working closely with local nonprofits to help remove systemic barriers to ensure that all students have equitable opportunities to thrive.

Last summer, the Collaborative’s first grant cycle awarded $300,000 to advance education equity in Fairfield County. And this investment made an immediate impact by removing systemic barriers and expanding opportunity for youth across the county. To date, the Collaborative’s investments have supported 4,639 local youths, with 54 percent of those served identifying as Hispanic or Latino.

Fairfield County businesses that are part of the Collaborative are stepping up through investments in and partnerships with organizations like Norwalk’s Carver Foundation, which is working to close opportunity gaps for all children to ensure they graduate high school on time and are ready for college and careers.

“We are laser-focused on removing barriers for the students we serve,” said Novelette Peterkin, CEO of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk, Inc. “We have helped and supported Norwalk public schools to become the number one urban school district in the state of Connecticut because our after-school programs help students grow faster.”

From supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) to college readiness, the Collaborative’s investment in nonprofit partners serving Hispanic youth helps fuel the creation and expansion of educational interventions that are critical to long-term career and economic development.

In the first grant cycle alone, the grantee partners reported:

• 74 percent of youth showed improved academic performance
• 86 percent of eligible students registered for fall college courses
• 87 percent of program participants experienced less anxiety about food insecurity

These numbers highlight the value of the Collaborative’s investments in organizations like Domus Kids, which is committed to achieving racial equity and empowering young people facing adversity to pursue their path to self-sufficiency.

“There’s so much potential in lower Fairfield County for young people who haven’t necessarily had a traditional life path, but really want to contribute to our community,” said Michael Duggan, executive director of Domus Kids, which serves students in Stamford. “If given the opportunity, they will bolster the economy and make businesses stronger by opening the pipeline for a diligent workforce.”

Learn more about the Fairfield County Business Collaborative and how to become a member here. Local businesses of all sizes that are interested in joining are encouraged to contact Rebecca Mandell, Donor Engagement Officer, Partnerships and Learning at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

About Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is partnering with our community to create a county where every person has an equitable opportunity to thrive. We work closely with community organizations, nonprofits, businesses and philanthropists to address challenges and identify opportunities to create a stronger, more vibrant community. Informed by three decades of partnering with and serving our community, we have awarded more than $365 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond.

About the Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity
The Fairfield County Business Collaborative for Education Equity, formed in 2020, is a multi-year local impact and funding partnership to help reduce and eliminate educational disparities among Fairfield County’s most vulnerable pre-K through 12+ students, their parents and guardians, as well as teachers and staff. The Business Collaborative, in partnership with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation capitalizes on the combined impact of our region’s philanthropic corporate sector to support local nonprofit organizations and initiatives with financial contributions, employee volunteerism and expertise, mentorship and internship opportunities, and other resources to support scalable and evidenced-based initiatives in the Greater Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk, and Stamford regions. Members include: Bank of America, First County Bank, Gallatin Point Capital, Henkel Corporation, Lapine Associates, Pitney Bowes, Synchrony, The Ashforth Company, Tudor Foundation, and Xerox. www.fccfoundation.org/fcbcee