Meet the Bridgeport, CT Public Allies!

8 Feb

Hey everyone,

So I realized that I had been referencing some of the Public Allies Connecticut (PACT) Bridgeport Allies but hadn’t officially introduced you- how rude of me, I know!  Check out the pic below to see what we look like and then scroll down to learn more about us.

Bottom Row, left to right: Tinesha, Melissa, Akira, & Isabelle (me!) Middle Row: Program Manager RJ, Samantha, & Christine Top Row: Beatriz, Heaven- Lee, and & Ben

First Year Ally: Tinesha Sneed

Placement: Southwestern CT AHEC (Area Health Education Center); Bridgeport, CT

Goal for This Year: “To take on the experience with an opened mind and an opened heart.  To try my hardest to change MY world not the WHOLE world.”

First Year Ally: Melissa Gabso
Placement: CT NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association); Oxford, CT
Favorite PACT Experience So Far: “Going ice skating at the Bushnell Park [Hartford, CT] Ice Rink and learning firsthand how civic engagement can pay off in real tangible terms.”

First Year Ally: Akira Ford

Placement: Saint Luke’s Lifeworks; Stamford, CT

Favorite PACT experience so far: “When Heaven- Lee and I went kayaking during Core Retreat!”

First Year Ally: Isabelle M. Delgado

Placement: FSW, Inc. (formerly Family Services Woodfield); Bridgeport, CT

Most Interesting Thing I’ve Learned About Bridgeport: “Bridgeport has a large Portuguese and Brazilian population- and with them they bring several good restaurants!”

Bridgeport Site Program Manager: RJ Mercede

Favorite PACT Experience So Far:  “I have two favorite PACT experiences so far- team building exercises at Core Retreat (including the flawless execution of the “Double Piggy Back Ride”) and Bridgeport TSP’s first team breakfast together.”  (See below for the photo.  Shout out to Heaven- Lee, Beatriz, & Ben!)

First Year Ally: Samantha Santos

Placement: Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust; Bridgeport, CT

Most Interesting Thing I’ve Learned About Bridgeport: “Bridgeport has so much potential; it’s like an ‘unpolished jewel.’ ”

First Year Ally: Christine Santos

Placement: Domus; Stamford, CT

Favorite PACT experience so far: “When we packed six people into a Trans Am to meet with [local community organizer] Angie Staltaro at Bridgeport City Hall!”

First Year Ally: Beatriz Santiago

Placement: Saint Vincent’s Dispensary of Hope; Bridgeport, CT

The most interesting thing I’ve learned about Bridgeport:  “A lot of our land was polluted in the past, which makes it difficult [but not impossible!] to rebuild.”

First Year Ally: Heaven- Lee Giovinco

Placement: Saint Luke’s Lifeworks; Stamford, CT

Favorite PACT experience so far: “Pot luck brunch on full day TSP days.”  [Heaven Lee introduced us to the calorie laden but oh so delicious microwaveable-waffle-with-caramel-ice-cream-and-whipped-cream “breakfast” combo!]

First Year Ally: Ben Pharr

Placement: Operation Hope; Fairfield, CT

Favorite Quote: ” ‘Every sound you make in life echoes in eternity.’ -Unknown”

2.0 (Second Year) Ally: Sharaya Smith

Placement: Bridgeport Public Library, Volunteer Services Coordinator

Favorite PACT experience so far: “For me, it would have to be Core Retreat from my first year.  It totally changed my life!”  Below, Sharaya poses as The Public Ally From the Future for our Newspaper Fashion Show during Core Retreat!

2.0 Ally: Shon McKenzie

Placement: Bridgeport Housing Authority; Bridgeport, CT

Goal for this year: “To graduate this Public Allies year with a great experience behind me.  I also plan to further my education by getting my Master’s in Psychology for a great career.”

Shon listens carefully during a CL Friday training.

2.0 Ally: Veronica Swain

Placement: GBAPP, Inc. (Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program); Bridgeport, CT

The Most Interesting Thing I’ve learned About Bridgeport:  “It has a thriving artist community.  I wasn’t aware of the richness and cohesiveness of the creative community until I moved here and began working in Bridgeport.”

Veronica showing off her illustration talent as she presents her galaxy- themed Life Map during Core Retreat.

Nice to meet you!


4 Responses to “Meet the Bridgeport, CT Public Allies!”

  1. Ashley February 8, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Double piggy back ftw!! Great moment in PACT history, for sure. 🙂

    • imdelgado February 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      Definitely one our prouder moments 🙂

      • imdelgado February 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm #


    • Philip Drew February 9, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      One week to master the triple! 4 months to master the quadruple!
      Continuous Learning!

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