What are CANs?

Collaborative Action Network

Our 3 Collaborative Action Networks are composed of partners who have content expertise, knowledge as well as influence in the community or have an understanding on how to leverage their resources to move the work forward. These partners often times offer a direct service to schools, students and families. Together, as a team, we hold each other accountable to develop and reach our indicated goals.

Current Collaborative Action Network Areas 

The most important step of all is the first step. Although, choosing where to start can be a difficult task due to the fact that there is room for improvement in so many areas. Our 3 Collaborative Action Networks are able to analyze the barriers to create solutions and strengthen outcomes within the Waterbury community. As our partnership expands, more priority areas will be added to create effective collaborative action networks.

Early Childhood CAN

Co-Chair: Dionne Johnson (Wellmore)

Co-Chair: Karen Rainville (Waterbury School Readiness)

The Early Childhood CAN focuses on trauma-informed care, social-emotional learning, and kindergarten readiness.  This CAN supports early literacy home visitors throughout the city.

Positive Youth Development CAN

Co- Chair Karen Mello (United Way)

Co-Chair Kathi Crowe (Waterbury Youth Services)

The Positive Youth Development  CAN brings together Waterbury youth providers such as Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls club, and the YMCA to improve and promote the developmental assets, motivate academic outcomes, and improve high school graduation rates.

Career Pathways CAN

Chair: David Celotto (Naugatuck Valley Community College)

The Career Pathways CAN supports financial literacy of high school students, workforce development and college readiness support.

Equity Matterz Think Tank

Co-Chair: Jacquee Porter (Save Girls on F.Y.E.R)

Co-Chair: Chemay Morales James (My Reflection Matters)

There are large gaps between the academic achievements of White students and Black and Brown students. This is unacceptable. BTS strives for equitable outcomes for ALL Waterbury children and youth. Equity Matterz TT strategizes, discusses, and analyzes data, practices, and (potential) interventions.

Family Engagement Think Tank

Chair: Angela Holmes (Waterbury Hospital, Community Outreach)

Having a focus on (young) children and youth automatically implies we support a lot of families. At BTS we understand that parents are children’s first educators and that families often know their children best. Engaging families in any and all conversations and making them feel welcome, safe, and supported to do so is our goal.

The BTS Youth Advisory Think Tank (YATT) is a newly convening body of Waterbury youth interested in advocating for youth-needs. Think Tank members will represent the educational needs and interests of their peers, providing recommendations and guidance to the BTS Council, Collaborative Action Networks (CANs) and other Think Tanks. If you are interested in joining the YATT, you may complete and submit this online application.

For any questions, please contact Roslyn Sotero at:


What are CAN's?

How We Work

Bridge to Success utilizes a system to adequately access collective impact through a grass-root, data driven approach to convene out 90+ partners into Collaborative Action Networks (CANs). Where we focus on improving outcomes and indicators, leveraging existing resources and striving to engage, empower and inform the Waterbury community.

Shared Community Vision

Engage. Empower. Inform. — Since 2010, Bridge to Success (BTS) was established as Connecticut’s first Cradle to Career youth initiative. Creating shared accountability through the use of our Collaborative Action Networks (CANs) , a community vision for education was identified. The vision strategically outlines our four primary focus areas that include the competencies, experiences, and benchmarks we agree all children should have access to.