Publication: In Your Northwest Corner

In Your Northwest Corner Vol. 24

February 20, 2024

Originally Published May 31, 2023

Sara Vigliotti discusses how the Northwest CT Community Foundation Women & Girls Scholarship Fund changed her life.

Access to Affordable Education

More than 1,500 students attend Northwestern Connecticut Community College (NCCC) each year, working to improve their lives by earning degrees and certificates in veterinary medicine, nursing, technology, and human services. Many build on that base to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year college at a much lower cost than attending a university for all four-years. College graduates continue to earn higher incomes and enjoy better job security on average than those without degrees.

Recent grants from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Women & Girls Scholarship Fund and Northwest CT Community Foundation Women & Girls Fund supported scholarships for women earning degrees in healthcare programs, and childcare assistance for women earning certificates and degrees.

"I am so grateful for the Women & Girls Scholarship Fund," said Sara Vigliotti NCCC student and Women & Girls Scholarship Fund scholarship recipient. "They have changed my life."

A recent grant from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, a supporting organization of the Northwest CT Community Foundation, made possible scholarships for veterinary technology students.

Recent grants from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Stock the Shelves Fund supported Food for Thought, NCCC's student food pantry.

A recent grant from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Draper Foundation Fund provided flexible support toward NCCC's mission to inspire learning through accessible, high-quality education.

Students pick out new books from Read to Grow's Bookmobile

Encouraging Literacy: Bringing Books to Children

For 22 years, Read to Grow has provided literacy information and free children’s books to Connecticut families. Read to Grow's Books for Babies program encourages pregnant women and parents of newborns to regularly read, talk, and sing to their babies beginning at birth to nurture their babies’ literacy and language skills.

The Read to Grow Bookmobile delivers books directly to children through a collaboration with schools and organizations that serve low to moderate-income and high-need families across Connecticut.

"We have witnessed time and again how books can transform a child's experience with learning," said Shitu Rajbhandari of Read to Grow. Recent grants from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Carlton D.
Fyler and Jenny R. Fyler Fund and the Northwest CT Community Foundation Feliciano & Lydia Turri Zaccheo Fund made possible several Bookmobile stops in Litchfield County, enabling children to climb into the Bookmobile and choose 1-3 books for their home library.

"At a recent Bookmobile stop at two elementary schools, children frequently
exclaimed 'this is so cool' and excitedly asked if they could keep the books they choose," said Shitu.

Nutritious Meals During a Health Crisis

Healing Meals Foundation Corporation's Healthy Meals Program delivers nutrient-rich, organic meals to families in Northwest CT and beyond who are facing a health crisis. Many of these meals are provided at no cost to those living with food insecurity due to long-term poverty, temporary hardship because of illness, or a combination of both.

Staff work with youth volunteers and adult mentors as they prepare and deliver organic meals to clients for three months. In addition to meals, clients receive a wellness manual that shares information about good nutrition, recipes, tips for adding whole foods to their diet, and wellness exercises.

A recent grant from the Northwest CT Community Foundation Marion Wm. & Alice Edwards Fund made organic meals available for 12 weeks to low-income families during a health crisis at no cost to the families.

A recent Healing Meals client: "I didn't know what I was going to do after surgery. No one has ever done anything like this for me before. I know there are so many people involved, and I love all of them, and I know I'm not the only one being helped. I hope to cook when I'm feeling better to give back."

“This grant helps us deliver nutrient-rich meals made with love to clients," said, Lisa Yoreo of Healing Meals Foundation Corporation. “Your connection with Healing Meals is helping to create ripples of kindness throughout our community.”