North Hartford Ascend Pipeline Welcomes Community Members and Residents to its Governance Structure

Aug.15, 2022

Hartford, CT – The North Hartford Ascend Pipeline (Ascend) is proud to announce the 22 community members and residents who will serve as community representatives on various governance work groups to help shape Ascend’s cradle to career pipeline of transformative programs and services going forward.

Community participation is embedded in all aspects of Ascend, which is funded by a five-year, $30 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods Program. Under the grant, Connecticut Children’s Office for Community Child Health is working with the City of Hartford, Hartford Public Schools, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut and other partners from sectors known to impact children’s optimal healthy development to design, implement, and evaluate Ascend.

The community representatives selected to serve on Ascend’s governance work groups and teams will be actively involved in planning, monitoring, implementing, evaluating, and governing Ascend, along with our partner organizations. They will represent community interests in critical Ascend focus areas, which include pipeline services, data and evaluation, as well as an exclusive community member advisory group composed of representatives from existing community organizations, including Neighborhood Revitalization Zones and School Governance Councils, who will serve as liaisons between Ascend and their respective organizations.

”By including residents at all tables where decisions are made, project design and implementation will be most effective,” said Paul H. Dworkin, MD, Connecticut Children’s Executive Vice President of Community Child Health. “Co-creation among community-based organizations, residents and Ascend leaders is an important value of Ascend. Co-creation will enhance equity by utilizing strategies such as targeted universalism, which identifies and prioritizes the needs of those who are at greatest risk for adverse outcomes; elevating community member and resident experiences; building community and resident capacity; and compensating community members and residents for the expertise and value they add to Ascend.”

Ascend is pleased to welcome the following community representatives to its governance structure:

  • Resident and Community Advisory Group Members and Organizations:
    • Darlene Childs (Northeast Revitalization Association)
    • Yackecha Dickenson (Upper Albany Neighborhood Revitalization Zone)
    • Brittany Grant (Hartford Public Schools)
    • Beverly Hines (Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and Weaver High School)
    • Yarimar Melendez (West Middle Community School)
    • Helen Nixon (Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Zone)
    • Abigail Ocasio (S.A.N.D. Elementary School)
    • Jeffrey Stewart (Clay Arsenal Neighborhood Revitalization Zone)
    • Charles Teale (Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Zone)
    • Lawrence Williams (Upper Albany Neighborhood Revitalization Zone)
  • Family and Community Engagement Work Group Community Members:
    • Tori Hamilton
    • Gloria Jenkins
    • Stephan Palmer
    • Sylvester Turner Jr.
  • Family Navigation Work Group Community Members:
    • Patricia Dixon
    • Minervia Newman
  • Data and Evaluation Work Group Community Members:
    • Tyler Napper
    • Shelby Williams
  • Management Team Community Members:
    • Tyasha Adams
    • Kimberly Harris-Eaton
  • Leadership Team Community Members:
    • Jacqueline Phillips
    • Terry Stringer

Members of Ascend’s Family and Community Engagement Work Group selected the community representatives after applicants responded to a call for nominations. Participants in this work group include Ascend team members and community partners, with many having personal ties to and lived experience in the North Hartford Promise Zone.

“The North Hartford Ascend Pipeline is about empowering and supporting young people in North Hartford, from earliest childhood all the way through education to career,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “This work requires many partners, and I’m grateful to Connecticut Children’s and all Ascend partners for their commitment. I’m especially thankful to those neighborhood leaders who are volunteering their time on each of these work groups, because the kind of community empowerment and transformation Ascend aims at is only possible if the community is part of building, shaping, and leading the work.”

Learn more about the North Hartford Ascend Pipeline here and view the complete list of members on Ascend work groups and teams here.

About Connecticut Children’s:
Connecticut Children’s is the only health system in Connecticut dedicated to children, providing more than 30 pediatric specialties along with community-based programs. We’re known for exceptional care that kids and parents love, conveniently delivered at locations close to home and by Video Visit. Our experts lead breakthrough research and innovative partnerships, and have won awards for everything from nursing excellence to patient-friendly technology. U.S. News & World Report named us a best children’s hospital in the nation.

Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to health care for all children.