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3/30/2016 - Bridgeport Youth Summit to Take Place Friday April 1 at the Webster Bank Arena



Donna Pfrommer

EVP, Brand Management

United Way of Coastal Fairfield County




Bridgeport Youth Summit – Port of Opportunity to Bring 1,500 Bridgeport Youth to the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard


WHAT:           The community is excited about Bridgeport Youth Summit – Port of

Opportunity as it is envisioned as a day to mark a new direction in supporting Bridgeport youth.  The day is being planned under the auspices of Bridgeport Prospers, the cradle to career collective impact movement in Bridgeport.  United Way of Coastal Fairfield County is the Backbone Support Organization for this movement.


Over 65 youth and adults have been meeting for a year to make the Bridgeport Youth Summit a reality.  It will be an exciting, relevant and dynamic day for Bridgeport youth.  We are not only working to close the achievement gap, we are working to close the opportunity gap.


WHEN:          Friday, April 1st 1,500 Bridgeport youth, from Grade 7 through 25 years of

age, will gather at the Website Bank Arena at Harbor Yard between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Youth will be connected to role models and resources and exposed to higher education, career pathways, leadership opportunities and be given the chance to contribute to the development of a youth policy agenda. There will be entertainment, announcement of contest winners, motivational speakers, workshops, and leadership skill building.  Local employers will be providing information and there will be other exciting activities all day long.


Middle school 7th and 8th graders will arrive at 10 a.m. and begin their schedule of activities and depart at 4 p.m.  High school 11th and 12th graders will arrive at 10:30 a.m. and depart at 4:30 p.m. after their day of activities. 


National Guest Speaker Dr. Adolph “Doc” Brown will present a dynamic speech to all students at 1:45 p.m. as well as an address from Mayor Joseph Ganim.


Out of school youth, ages 17 – 25, will arrive at 4:30 p.m. and wrap up at 7 p.m. and will hear from Dr. Paul Broadie, President of Housatonic Community College.


WHO:             In addition to the planning members of Bridgeport Prospers Cradle to

Career, and the over 200 volunteers, the Presenting sponsor is Bank of America along with sponsorships from City of Bridgeport, The Workplace, Inc., United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, Urban League, Aquarion Water Company, Lighthouse Program, LifeBridge, People’s United Bank, RCI Marina, Turner Construction, William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, O&G Industries, Inc., Career Resources, Inc. and Bismark.


About Bridgeport Prospers


Bridgeport Prospers is a new way of working together to create exceptional results for our young people and community. We are coming together around a shared community vision to realize a safe, healthy and vibrant community for all, where children and families experience wholeness, dignity and prosperity. We believe in working intentionally across the entire cradle to career continuum and using data and evidence to inform our decisions. We are engaging local stakeholders from all backgrounds to track our progress and adjust our course.


About United Way of Coastal Fairfield County – Backbone Organization to Bridgeport Prospers


United Way of Coastal Fairfield County’s mission is, together, we mobilize our communities to improve people’s lives. Our role as Backbone Organization is to provide resources for staff support(coordination, facilitation, communications, data, community engagement, organization, financial administration) and technical assistance to support the development and ongoing work of the cradle to career collective impact movement. The Backbone helps facilitate the process that determines what is working and then helps drive investment in what is working. The Backbone Organization supports and the community leads. “In order to create lasting, transformational change, we are putting skills and resources we have as an organization to become the backbone organization for Bridgeport Prospers.  We are embracing our role in supporting, facilitating and organizing the basic functions that make such an undertaking possible,” Merle Berke-Schlessel, President & CEO.