We Have Moved.
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October 5, 2007
Nilda Aponte, Family and Childcare Licensing Coordinator at the non-profit organization All Our Kin, has lived with her five children in New Haven since 2003. She came to Connecticut on vacation from her home in Puerto Rico to visit her brother in Stratford. While here, she saw the opening for the position at All Our Kin and applied, feeling the need to make a change. Her caring and friendly demeanor landed her the job and she moved to New Haven permanently.
“I fell in love with New Haven,” said Nilda. “The best part is there is always some kind of activity or entertainment for my children and oftentimes it’s free. New Haven is a wonderful place to live.”
At All Our Kin, Nilda helps childcare providers receive their state license and she teaches them how to manage a business. She conducts an interview with the applicant, and proceeds to walk him/her through the appropriate paperwork, all while advocating to the state on behalf of the childcare providers. Her career at All Our Kin connected her with United Way of Greater New Haven and in the 2006 she became involved with their grant review process.
“I learned a lot about what other programs are offering through the grant review process and I learned what organizations can do with what they receive,” Nilda said.
Nilda found volunteering for the grant review process particularly rewarding because she is now able to refer her clients to some of the other unique non-profits in the region. In addition to her volunteer involvement with United Way, she is a member of the Teach Our Children Advocacy Program, a group of parents who are highly involved with their children’s education and well-being.
“All of these programs are running thanks to the consistent support of United Way, not just financially, but also technically. There’s a connection that I think is very important. The smallest programs wouldn’t be possible without the caring attitude of United Way.”
Seventy-five volunteers and nine United Way of Greater New Haven staff members participated in the 2007-2008 Grant Review Process. The reviewers were responsible for reading and evaluating 8-10 applications as well as conducting 2-4 site visits. Applications were assigned to a volunteer based upon expertise, interest, and avoiding conflicts of interest. Each of the 126 applications that were received from Greater New Haven non-profit organizations were reviewed by at least 5 volunteers. In the end, $1.5 million dollars was distributed to non-profit organizations in Greater New Haven.
Family and Childcare Licensing Coordinator at All Our Kin. People find out about All Our Kin through word of mouth and 211. Those who are interested set up appointments for a brief interview. I provide the paperwork that they need and walk them through it. We also provide workshops and networking opportunities for the childcare providers. The process can take up to nine months, so I am constantly working with the state and advocating on the caregivers’ behalf. I also conduct a pre-inspection before someone from the state comes down to ensure that everything is in order.
How long have you lived/worked in Greater New Haven?
4 years. My brother lives in Stratford and I came to New Haven on vacation from Puerto Rico. I saw the position at All Our Kin and decided to apply. My family thought I was crazy to start up in a new country, but I needed a change. I fell in love with New Haven. As a single mother of five children, I make it a point to always know what is going on in the city, and there are so many free activities and entertainment. It is a wonderful place to live.
What specific United Way programs/committees have you been involved with? When?
I was a part of the Grant Review Process and a recipient of United Way support through All Our Kin.
Why did you choose to be a part of the Grant Review Process?
To be honest, I didn’t choose. I was asked by my supervisor and agreed.
How did the process impact your views of the community?
I learned a lot about what other programs are offering. I learned what organizations can do with the little they receive.
How do you think the community has benefited from United Way?
All of these programs are running thanks to the consistent support, not just financially, but also technically. There’s a connection that I think is very important. The smallest programs, that are still so important, wouldn’t be possible without the caring attitude of United Way.
Was there any part of the process you found particularly rewarding?
Now that I know more about other services, I can refer my clients to them. I never knew exactly what Clifford Beer’s Clinic did and it’s something so unique and helpful for our community.
In what other ways are you involved in the community (outside United Way)?
I am a part of the Teach Our Children Advocacy program- a group of parents who are highly involved with their children’s education and well-being.
Why should others become more involved in the community and with United Way?
Having the support from United Way, in my opinion, is a stamp of excellency. When you see that an organization is supported by United Way, you know that it provides quality products and services.
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