Next in our series, Latonia Tabb, Senior Manager, Education Initiatives at the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.
LATONIA TABB: I am from Hartford, born and raised. I went to all public schools (Rawson Elementary School, Fox Middle School, and Weaver High School). I take pride in my city. I was a cheerleader, a Youth Development Practitioner, and worked within nonprofits serving youth ages 5-18 and post-secondary education. I’m a Trinity ConnCAP Upward Bound graduate. I am from Hartford!
HOW HAVE YOU BECOME PART OF HARTFORD?
LATONIA: As an upstanding product of this city, I’ve given back to the youth since the age of 14. After undergrad at Central Connecticut State University, I started work for nonprofits working with inner city youth at the age of 19. My passion is toward youth exceeding the unexpected, working toward self-awareness, and defining the odds of adversity. I’m an advocate for growth (helping them strive to pull out the best within themselves).
HOW HAS HARTFORD BECOME A PART OF WHO YOU ARE?
LATONIA: Growing up in the community areas in which Hartford Public Housing is offered, I’ve connected with so many people from different walks of life. It has humbled me to have a passion toward life, hardships, family, and community.
WHAT MAKES HARTFORD UNIQUELY HARTFORD?
LATONIA: The city lights, the up-and-coming areas for entertainment, the tall insurance buildings. When my daughters and I drive on I-84, they call the city buildings “castles.” You can travel anywhere in the continental United States and have insurance from companies based in Hartford. We may be a small city, but people know us!
HOW DO YOU “TELL THE STORY” OF HARTFORD?
LATONIA: I’ll say there are some wonderful happenings and people within the city of Hartford, including very stylish, creative, rising female entrepreneurs. We’re a city of many mom-and-pop food choices (Jamaican, Italian, Spanish). We are a place where everybody knows your name (in a good way)!
WHERE DO YOU SEE HARTFORD IN THE NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS?
LATONIA: Making major development moves to uplift areas in need of repair. Buildings that are underutilized will be turned into homeless shelters, youth recreation centers, food pantries, and affordable housing. Hartford will have bridged the gap with the mayor, governor, school officials, and healthcare facilities about major concerns facing our youth and families. Hartford will continue to rise as the next big thing!