Network Connect is a nonprofit that takes a community connection, resource building and information awareness approach to youth development with community at its center.
What makes Network Connect unique is the people behind the organization. Network Connect’s founders, Erin Hutt and Cierra Hall-Hipkins, look like the community they serve, while also having the necessary experience in employment creation services and working with vulnerable populations to contribute to the organization’s success.
Most importantly, serving youth is the founders’ passion and commitment. Erin and Cierra see this work as a way to give back to the community that raised them; both attended Wilmington Public Schools and both are raising sons, so they see this work as an investment in their sons’ future and the future of the youth of Wilmington, Delaware.
Looking to the future Erin and Cierra hope to expand Network Connect, “to youth everywhere who are underserved.” They also teach their youth that they hope to see them leading Network Connect in the future.
Network Connect promotes youth development through four key programs, Community Well-being Ambassadors, Teen Co-Learning Spaces, Future Culture Creators and Reverse the ACES.
Both founders have experience in administering employment and training programs, as well as working with vulnerable populations, social work, and community outreach. Their experience includes working with the following populations: low-income, low-literacy, learning disabled, incarcerated and reentering, homeless, victims of domestic violence, English language learners, youth at risk of dropping out of school, and victims of traumatic stress. Erin and Cierra are credentialed trauma-informed trainers.
Community Well-being Ambassadors
The Community Well-Being Ambassador
Key facts about Community Well-being Ambassadors
Teen Co-Learning Spaces
The Network Connect Teen Co-Learning
Future Culture Creators
Reverse the ACES
During Black History Month, Network Connect hosted their 2nd FREE Store event during Valentine’s Day weekend showing love to their community.
The free-store movement began in the United States in the 1960s in San Francisco. Today, several European countries have thriving free stores, and there are also many free stores throughout the US, but none in Delaware. All stores share a common philosophy: that there are more than enough goods to go around; scarcity should not be an issue.
Network Connect is launching a traveling free store to take place in a different community each month. A free store provides a unique way for people to responsibly donate items to others who can use them, free of charge, in a way that also builds community.
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