Network Connect

Network Connect builds community capacity by coordinating grassroots and local partners to provide youth and families with social services, education programs, workforce skills, and mental health supports.

$4,663 raised from 105 donors

$5,000 goal

Celebrate 5 years of Network Connect with a donation! Your support helps us continue providing resources and support to those in need. Join us in making a difference in our community. Thank you for being a part of our journey.

About Network Connect

Mission: Network Connect builds community capacity by coordinating grassroots and local partners to provide youth and families with social services, education programs, workforce skills, and mental health supports.

Current Network Connect Programs include:

Dual School Social Change/Environmental Hub

Dual School is a 12-week program that uses social impact projects to empower youth to become changemakers. In cohorts, students take part in design thinking workshops and mentorship opportunities to deeply understand a problem, create, and launch meaningful solutions. The latest Dual School programming includes the Healthcare Hub in partnership with ChristianaCare, focusing on healthcare career training, and a Design Thinking workshop with the YMCA.

Future Culture Creators (FCC) Workforce Development Program

The Future Culture Creator Employment Program provides youth aged 14-19, currently enrolled in school, with enriching, constructive year-round training, employment, and internships through subsidized placement with local creatives, community-based organizations, and non-profit organizations. Each FCC cohort completes 12 weeks of training on workforce development, trauma-informed care, design thinking, financial literacy, and community engagement training, followed by job placement. Students who finish the program are placed in employment opportunities with local employers, and an FFC staff member advises the student for an additional 90 days to ensure they maintain employment.

Key Facts about Future Culture Creators:
Network Connect has employed 107 FCC youth since the program's launch in 2019.

Community Well-being Ambassadors (CWA) Program

The Community Well-Being Ambassador Initiative is a community-driven, place-based prevention strategy to enhance the capacity of targeted neighborhoods in the Cities of Wilmington and Dover by promoting community well-being and resiliency among their residents across the lifespan. CWAs provide mental health, substance abuse, positive activities, youth support, and essential need solutions.

Key Facts about Community Well-being Ambassadors:
Since 2021, CWA Ambassadors have served 1869 people in both cities, connecting them to necessary health support and resources.
CWAs distributed 3889 Narcan kits and trained 1876 community members in Narcan delivery.

RACE to Wellness Campaign: Mental Health and ACES Awareness Program

The RACE (Reversing Affects of Adverse Childhood Experiences) programs implement the CDC’s six strategies to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences: strengthen economic support for families, promote social norms that protect against violence and adversity, ensure a strong start for children, teach skills, connect youth to caring adults and activities, and intervene to lessen immediate and long-term harms. There are 5 RACE Programs:
Network Connect provides RACE kits, mental wellness packages, to youth and families across the state.
RACE Camp is a year-round program that connects elementary and middle school students to recreational, cultural, and creative activities to enhance learning.
RACE After-School Programming offers students an enriching and supportive environment after school hours.
RACE Days are events hosted around the state in partnership with community-based organizations. Events typically involve the distribution of RACE kits or other essential resources for the community like clothing or food.
Safe Passage launched the 2022 school year in partnership with the Community Educating Building. Safe Passage Ambassadors are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the safe passage of children to and from school. The Safe Passage Ambassador is also responsible for maintaining positive and strong community relationships. Safe Passage workers are employed by Network Connect in partnership with the school communities they serve.

Wilmington Street Team: Violence Prevention Program

In response to a landscape analysis by the Community Based Public Safety Collective, the City of Wilmington established the Wilmington Community Public Safety Initiative led by Dr. Debra Mason. This initiative’s implementation team, The Wilmington Street Team, comprises three organizations: Network Connect, Youth Advocate Program, and Center for Structural Equity. This group is tasked with monitoring and responding to community violence by providing intervention services and connections to resources.

UW GUIDES: School-Based Community Advocates

Network Connect and United Way collaborate to implement the United Way GUIDES project. GUIDES work with students and families to maximize access to critical education options (e.g., school choice), programs (e.g., Delaware Pathways selection), and resources (e.g., education and career offerings). Embedding GUIDES - dedicated adults from local communities - within selected middle schools to mentor youth will help close the opportunity gap by providing culturally relevant and equitable access to out-of-school, after-school, and summer programs.

The Messaging Center

The Messaging Center, supported by Highmark, launched in September 2023, serving New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties. The Messaging Center provides important Medicaid re-enrollment information to families and communities in these three service areas. The Highmark-supported project focuses on informing the community of the need to re-enroll and update their information for Medicaid.