NEW BRITAIN - For seven years, four New Britain teens were part of the Pathways/Senderos Center, a community-based program that targets poor youth and their families in New Britain to assure high school graduation, promote adult self-sufficiency and prevent teen pregnancy.
In May, they each walked across the stage at the XL Center in Hartford to receive degrees from Central Connecticut State University.
Before graduating from New Britain High School and pursuing their higher education goals, Diego and Danerick Peralta, Awilda Rodriguez and Jeffrey Chavez all attended the Pathways program and remain in close contact with the cente.
United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut is committed to bringing together people and resources dedicated to the well-being of children and families in the community. In New Britain, the organization does this by mobilizing volunteers and investing in programs such as the one at Pathways/Sendeors.
While all graduates have gone down different paths, they still have one thing in common: staying involved with Pathways/Senderos or working to help others.
Danerick Peralta worked at the center part-time during his college years, and his brother Diego now works at the center part-time while working toward his master’s at CCSU.
Rodriguez works full-time as a support worker at The Village for Families and Children, a mental health services and advocacy organization, in Hartford.
Chavez has a full-time job, but remains the pesident of the Northeast chapter of his Latino fraternity.
All four have overcome great difficulties to excel in school and become successful in their personal lives. Their triumphs serve to inspire and be role models for all Pathways students.
Pathways/Senderos has been focused on education since the agency began 24 years ago. They provide long-term, comprehensive, holistic service by creating a parallel family structure with neighborhood youth and parents to make sure children feel safe, welcomed and nurtured so that learning and skill-building can occur.
One hundred percent of participants who complete their program graduate high school, 98 percent remain pregnancy free, 76 percent pursue post-secondary education and 94 percent who are able to work are employed.
United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut also supports Pathways/Senderos’ Middle School Educational Enrichment Program, with the shared goal of helping students in grades six through eight succeed academically and ensure on-time promotion to ninth grade.
On Nov. 21, United Way and its partners kicked off the New Britain Community Campaign to benefit local programs and initiatives such as Pathways/Senderos.
Those interested in donating or running a workplace campaign can visit unitedwayinc.org/donate or contact Bob Williamson at 860-493- 6843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.