UHart Hosts Connecticut Service Symposium

Governor Ned Lamont, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman John Larson, Hartford Mayor Arunan Arulampalam, and West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor were among the speakers at the University of Hartford’s 1877 Club recently at the first-ever Connecticut Service Symposium.

CT Service Symposium check presentation

The conference brought together leaders from across the state and nation to discuss opportunities for public service in Connecticut and how to promote a stronger culture of service throughout the state—especially among young people.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, GYL Financial Synergies, and More Perfect teamed up for the event.

In addition to the federal, state, and local leaders, attendees heard from Michael D. Smith, chief executive officer of Americorps, the federal agency for service and volunteering. AmeriCorps announced more than $3.8 million in federal grants to support programs by Serve Connecticut, Health 360’s Healthy Mind Alliance and New Opportunities, Inc.’s Foster Grandparent program.

“There's no greater reward than doing something on behalf of others,” Congressman Larson told attendees, “whether it's an individual, whether it's a family, whether it's a community.”

Walter Harrison, president emeritus of the University of Hartford and interim president of the Jewish Community Foundation, echoed that sentiment. “We all understand that we are part of the larger Hartford community,” he said, “and we know that we are only as strong as the greater community of which we are a part.”

Gov. Lamont’s message to attendees was a simple yet powerful one: “Get involved. Get involved early, and you have no idea where those twists and turns in the road will lead you.”

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Matt Besterman