Ivette Williams

I would like to share with you my thoughts on the purpose and value of the Connecticut Puerto Rican Forum, beginning with sentiments I expressed at my graduation in the summer of ’98.

Attending the CPRF was one of my successful experiences of development. How often do you find top level training while paying nothing and yet leaving with a respected certificate and valuable skills? I found learning at the CPRF easy if you had drive and ambition, but even if you slacked off or had an intrusive outside problem, the staff would get to you if you didn’t get to them first.

Upon leaving the CPRF, my office administration skills were sharpened, my confidence greater and I was ready to achieve my primary goal of economic stability.

As former students, we have continued to build on our knowledge, experience and marketability. One former student currently working at ING Americas with me, recently remarked to me, with delight on her face, “I started working here shortly after I left the CPRF. Now I have a real good job. It really helped me. I couldn’t even type before I went there”. This program and those like it are really a blessing for people’s personal lives and for society as a whole as it helps individuals to develop into focused, confident, capable and productive citizens which in turn reduces a host of related social ailments.

As for myself, I have gone on from Clerk to Admin. Assist., to Project Coordinator. Recently, I completed my Bachelors in Information Technology which along with my project management training has now qualified me to pursue an entry level project manager position in the IT field.

My training and experience at the CPRF sent me on the road to economic independence in such a short space of time, so inexpensively that I can not but be grateful. At present, I and others still continue to journey up the ladder of success, and it is my commitment to never forget to help others up also. I remember telling my cousin to call the CPRF about a year and a half ago when she relocated from Florida. Unfortunately, when she called, many of the programs were no longer offered due to budget cuts. I was disappointed of course and thought what a blessing it was to have had this program available to me when I needed it. That is to say, we all have a part to play in the survival of this program and positive activities in our societies in general.

Perhaps you and I can support the CPRF by being a guest speaker, tutoring or helping the students to complete the program successfully, telling others about attending the program or by our financial support. And thank you to those of you who have already begun to do your part to make a difference in the lives of others. If we are able to and the opportunity presents itself, we should all help this program to continue to play the viable, positive role it’s been playing in individual lives and our society at large. I assure you, there is a ripple effect to the good that we do, and the returns are well worth our efforts!

Thank you!