Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Photo Chris Collins presents the UPSTANDER Awards

Chris Collins: Making A Difference in Connecticut Community

Chris Collins moved to Meriden, Connecticut, four years ago with his girlfriend and her two children. In his professional capacity he serves as a substance abuse counselor at Rushford at Meriden, an organization that offers a variety of outpatient programs and services, including counseling young adults about substance use disorders. A longtime friend of Chris’ invited him to participate in the University of Connecticut Extension’s People Empowering People (UConn PEP) program.

Because Chris wanted to learn ways to engage with the Meriden community, understand the school system, and make a positive difference, he agreed to attend. UConn Extension provides training and support for community agencies, school districts, hospitals, family resource centers, and correctional institutions across the state offering the UConn PEP curriculum and course.

Participants such as Chris come together for two hours a week for 10 weeks to discuss topics including communication, problem-solving, values, parenting, and other life skills that enhance parent leadership skills and community engagement.

For Chris, the content and format of UConn PEP fit his lifestyle and addressed his interests. Because dinner and day care were provided, participation did not require additional juggling of work and family time. Chris was seeking an opportunity to be more involved with his family, the schools, and the community. UConn PEP was a vehicle to make that happen.

NIFA supports UConn Pep with Extension Funding. Read the full story at the University of Connecticut’s Extension Blog.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture economics and rural communities
U.S. States and Territories
Connecticut
Website Survey CTA Image Desktop

Your feedback is important to us.