Love Hartford Benefit Dinner Raises Over $2.2 Million for Hartford Youth Service Corps

Today, Mayor Bronin announced that last night’s Love Hartford Benefit Dinner raised over $2.2 million for the Hartford Youth Service Corps. Administered by Our Piece of the Pie (OPP), the Youth Service Corps was established by Mayor Bronin’s administration in 2016 to support Hartford residents age 16-24 who are disconnected from school and work.  The Youth Service Corps provides paid, part-time, yearlong employment, while connecting members to a strong network of support, mentorship, and coaching. In April of 2023, the Hartford Youth Service Corps received national recognition by the National Youth Employment Coalition.

To date, the Youth Service Corps has helped connect or reconnect approximately 2,000 young Hartford residents to education and employment.  The funding raised last night will allow OPP to achieve the Mayor’s goal of supporting 500 youth next year through the Youth Service Corps, the largest number of young people served in a single year. As of 2023, 85% of out-of-school youth without a diploma re-enrolled in traditional or alternate high school settings, and 71% of out-of-school youth with a diploma or GED secured other employment.

“The Hartford Youth Service Corps has been life-changing for thousands of Hartford’s young people, letting them feel the pride of earning a paycheck for doing meaningful work, connecting them to a powerful network of supports, and helping them move forward with education or employment,” said Mayor Bronin.  “It’s one of the most effective youth development and engagement initiatives in the State of Connecticut and nationally, and it’s a model for how to invest in young people who have become severely disengaged or disconnected.  I’m so proud of the work that OPP and our team have done to start, grow, and strengthen the Youth Service Corps over the last eight years, and deeply grateful for the generous contributions that will allow us to work with more young people next year than ever before.” 

Barbara Dalio, the Founder and Co-CEO of Dalio Education, said: “Under the leadership of Mayor Bronin and Thea Montanez, the Hartford Youth Service Corps has already put many young people who were off-track back on track, to a better future.  Mayor Bronin and Miss Montanez, along with countless others who are involved in this groundbreaking work, deserve all of our thanks and gratitude.  They all represent the very best of public service.  It is an honor for us to be able to contribute resources to this effort.”

“The Hartford Foundation has long supported efforts to reengage young people who have become disconnected from school and work, recognizing the significant challenges they will face as adults without a high school diploma or job training,” said Hartford Foundation President/CEO Jay Williams. “We have been proud to support Mayor Bronin’s vision of the Hartford Youth Service Corps that engages state and local government as well as community organizations to provide a wide variety of services for youth to reconnect them to education and workforce development while enabling them to earn an income.”

This new funding comes in the wake of a report commissioned by Dalio Education report, which found that in 2022, 119,000 (one in five) of Connecticut’s young people ages 14-26 were either at-risk or disconnected from education or employment; that figure represents young people in all of Connecticut's 169 cities and towns.  The report also found that 12,000 young people were severely disconnected, either lacking a high school diploma/equivalent or unemployed/unenrolled in a workforce program.  To address these concerns, the Hartford Youth Service Corps Leadership Investors committed millions of dollars to OPP: Dalio Education will commit $1 million, along with a $500,000 grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.  This financial commitment will help the Youth Service Corps support an additional 500 young people.


For more information on the Hartford Youth Service Corps, which was launched by Mayor Bronin in July of 2016 and has provided 2,000 Hartford youth with an opportunity to build job skills, earn a paycheck, and help strengthen neighborhoods, please visit Youth Service Corps – City of Hartford (