Helping a Family Move Forward

With a loving mom, great teachers, and her own space, a young child thrives.

After working for 15 years with the State of Connecticut, Adrienne Trice had to make a tough choice.

Carmen, director of our Early Childhood Learning Center, with Adrienne and Laila

Stay and continue working or move to Georgia to care for her ailing parents. She chose her parents. After her parents got well, they moved to Philadelphia where she met and made a life with a man and together they had Laila, “her pride and joy.” But her relationship with Laila’s father soured and Adrienne made another tough choice…to leave home with Laila.

“It was the day before Christmas and we had nowhere to go.”

So, they returned to Connecticut to stay with family. “It was difficult and depressing,” said Adrienne. It was during the Recession so finding a job wasn’t easy; the State wasn’t hiring. She took a part-time job in retail and found child care for Laila. It was a first step but she still felt unsettled.

“Then, a friend told me about The Village, and I called right away,” she said. “I spoke with Carmen [director of the Early Childhood Learning Center] and she invited me to meet with her and see the program.” She loved it. Fortunately, there was one slot open. “It was like that one spot was for me and Laila,” she said.

Laila started right away and soon began making friends, learning songs and increasing her vocabulary. “I started feeling better about myself but I still wanted our own space. I felt I was ready to be on my own; I just didn’t have the resources…a place, a security deposit…”

“We were able to connect Adrienne with resources – both within The Village and other organizations we work with,” said Carmen. The Hartford Larrabee Fund Association, which provides financial assistance to needy women and families who live in Hartford, provides The Village with a grant each year to help qualified clients.

“Adrienne was a perfect candidate for their assistance,” said Carmen.

Carmen then reached out to Village donors, staff, friends and colleagues, who quickly responded with offers of household goods for the apartment that Carmen located for Adrienne just two blocks from the preschool.

When they moved in, “Laila was so excited!” said Adrienne. “She had wanted her own room, her own space to play with her dolls and that’s what she has now. She’s happy. And there’s nothing like being a parent and seeing your child happy.”

With help from the teachers at the preschool, counseling from a Village psychologist to help her deal with the transitions in her life, and her own space, Laila was able to focus on other things – making friends and learning.

On a beautiful sunny day in August, Laila graduated from the preschool “with all her friends and her teachers by her side. I tried to hold back the tears,” said Adrienne, “but it was so hard.”

And now, Laila is going to kindergarten. “I’m happy because she’s moving on in life, but I’m sad because we’re leaving The Village.”

“They made it so easy for me and my daughter to move forward. We have our own space. We have our own key to our door. Everything’s just wonderful.”

Pictured above: Laila with lead teacher Jessica Garcia

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