ASP builds bridges across Connecticut at fall benefit

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More than 190 supporters, youth and community leaders packed Dolce Norwalk Hotel & Conference Center on November 7 to celebrate the bridges All Stars is building across Connecticut!

In Connecticut, adult and youth leaders are creating connections and new relationships between the middle-class and affluent suburbs, and the poor and working class communities in Fairfield and New Haven counties.

ASP President and CEO Gabrielle Kulander, ASP of Bridgeport Director Pam Lewis and honoree Mindee Blanco, COO, Barnum Financial Group

At the event, Chuck and Karen Chaplin, All Star supporters for more than 15 years, were honored for their work to help launch and grow the ASP of Bridgeport. Chuck, former President and CFO, MBIA, Inc. and Karen, ASP of Bridgeport board member, reside in Greenwich, CT and have stepped forward to champion the importance of afterschool development.

Mindee Blanco, COO, Barnum Financial Group, and Laurence Caso, Executive Director, The Klein Memorial Auditorium were also recognized for their partnership and for giving All Stars programs a home in Connecticut!  Former NBA Knick player, John Starks, also spoke about his experiences as a young man growing up in Oklahoma and the importance of afterschool development.

“In Connecticut and around the country, caring adults are partnering with our young people to create a new performance—a new play for what is possible for all communities,” said Pam Lewis, Director of the All Stars Project of Bridgeport.

During the program, several graduates of the Development School for Youth presented awards and shared what it means to be part of the All Stars Project:

Summer Internship Program

The event featured Bridgeport youth leaders, celebrity speakers and a special performance!

“It’s good to be able to tell your story,” said Ja’Quan Arango, a 17-year old graduate of the Development School for Youth. “People are touched and they want to reach out and help.”

All Stars Talent Show Network performers gave a rousing performance, which included a dance performance, heartfelt solo from Makynzi Colon, and original rap song by aspiring rapper Lateef “Bo$$” Adetona that brought the crowd to their feet as the evening wrapped up with thunderous applause!

The All Stars Project of Bridgeport is now preparing for their next major performance, their third annual MLK Day Tribute and Celebration, titled, “Have You Ever Seen a Dream Rapping,” slated for January 16 at the Klein Memorial Auditorium.