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HARTFORD, CONN (October 12, 2017) – Today, the City of Hartford, the Hartford Youth Service Corps (YSC), and its community partners kicked off the second year of the YSC.  The kickoff was held at a playground on Bellevue Street currently being constructed by YSC members, one of more than 400 community-based service learning projects YSC members have participated in during the program’s first year.  Overall, more than 200 Corps members have participated in more than 85,000 hours of paid service projects in the Hartford community.  Our Piece of the Pie is the City’s implementing partner and organizes YSC programming.

“Creating the Hartford Youth Service Corps was a personal priority for me from day one, and through the Youth Service Corps we’ve been able to give more than two hundred young people the chance to earn a paycheck, contribute to their community, and put themselves on a path to education or employment, no matter what mistakes they’ve made in the past,” said Mayor Bronin.  “We’ve been able to fund this program entirely with private contributions, and I’m so grateful to the funders who stepped up last year and again this year to make the Youth Service Corps possible.  We should all be proud of the hundreds of young men and women who’ve made the choice and the commitment to work with the Youth Service Corps, to improve their City, and to set their personal aspirations higher.”

The YSC creates a part-time, year-round employment opportunity for young people ages 16 – 24.  It is designed to give structure, coaching, and paid work experience to young people who face significant challenges including involvement with the criminal justice system, chronic absenteeism or failure to obtain a high school diploma, involvement in gangs, homelessness, and foster care.  During the first year of the YSC, members have done a variety of projects including shoveling snow for seniors and disabled residents, cleaning up many of Hartford’s parks, working with young students in after-school programs, and supporting a variety of non-profits in their work.

Last year, Mayor Bronin raised $2.2 million and this year he raised $2.5 million for the YSC.  Funders include: Barbara Dalio and the Dalio Foundation, the Travelers Foundation, the Newman’s Own Foundation, United Technologies Corporation, The Hartford, the Aetna Foundation, and Key Bank.

“OPP is excited to officially kick off the Youth Service Corps’ second year, which is backed by the vision and support of Mayor Bronin and our many generous partners,” said Hector Rivera, Chief Operating Officer at Our Piece of the Pie.  “We’ll continue to engage more than 200 of Hartford’s most in-need youth, helping them develop a good work ethic and aiming them towards long-term success, all while building up their ownership and pride in our community.”

“We are thrilled by the Hartford Youth Service Corps’ accomplishments realized through teamwork,” said Barbara Dalio of the Dalio Foundation.  “Young people have worked hard to make a difference for their community while gaining valuable experience and skills in pursuit of their goals.  They are inspirational examples for us all.  We are proud to support them.”    

“The Hartford Youth Service Corps is a unique program, providing opportunities not only for those involved but also for the city, and we’re proud to be part of it,” said Erin Haberman, Senior Program Officer of the Travelers Foundation.  “The initiative is contributing to the vitality of our neighborhoods and helping participants build necessary skills for full-time employment.” 

“Supporting the Hartford Youth Service Corps is a natural extension of the Newman’s Own Foundation’s commitment to empower people and communities, as we continue Paul Newman’s legacy of giving and creating opportunities,” said Bob Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation. “The Hartford Youth Service Corps is a very special way to engage city youth in employment, while at the same time providing experiences and support for their continued development as productive and contributing members of society. We’re pleased to see the success of the program so far, and we’re hopeful that it will be a model for other cities nationally."

“We are excited by the positive influence Hartford's Youth Services Corps has had in empowering young adults through service opportunities that benefit our neighborhoods,” said Diane Cantello, vice president of corporate sustainability at The Hartford. “The Hartford is committed to building safe, strong, and successful communities, and having members of the Hartford Youth Services Corps prevail is important to that mission.”




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