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  • The Narrative Project

Elm City Communities Promotes HBCU Post-Secondary Experience, Hosts Virtual Tour for Youth


March 14, 2022

CONTACT Ashlee Niedospial 570-778-5916


New Haven, CT — An intimate group of students and their families joined Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of New Haven (ECC/HANH) Saturday for a virtual tour of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) at an event for ECC/HANH parents and students. The virtual tour, as part of the agency's ECC Believes program, was offered as an option for students looking for support in navigating college and post-secondary options. Facilitated by a small group of ECC staff, the tour was used as an opportunity to safely introduce students to 15 HBCUs, without the risk of COVID-19 exposure. “My goal is to make sure they feel comfortable enough to come to me when they need help in school, home, or in general when they just don’t know where to go,” said Tarin Evans, Community Economic Development Supervisor for ECC/HANH. “Our students have to be able to see and know that they belong here. They belong in every place we introduce them to. College life is obtainable. I wanted to bring this HBCU tour, but because of COVID, a lot of institutions have restrictions. So we got a little creative.” Evans said the event was the result of deeply listening to the students. Interest in collegiate opportunities was expressed during the agency's case management meeting with students. There they shared concerns of not quite knowing how to navigate college applications and wanting additional support beyond what they received from their various schools. “Although the pandemic has forced people to either cancel plans or do events virtually, we’re not letting that get in the way of supporting our young people,” said Karen DuBois-Walton, President of ECC/HANH and Chair of the State Board of Education. “We’re making sure that exploration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities is a part of their academic search. We want to make sure that we’re exposing students to everything that will be a part of their big next step.” With a commitment to supporting their residents from “cradle to career,” DuBois-Walton said events like these are an important approach towards ensuring students who live in an ECC property can be supported and adequately prepared to live self-sufficient lives and potentially be homeowners one day. “We want to make sure they’re exploring opportunities here in Connecticut, but there’s also something special about the education provided by HBCUs,” she said. “To be able to go to campuses that really value and center Black history, they’ll be able to interact with leaders and professionals who are African American and learn amongst students who are African American. So we want to make sure that is a part of what they’re exploring, and this college fair is just one way to do that.” To learn more about ECC/HANH and ECC Believes visit

Photos from event:

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Elm City Communities/Housing Authority of New Haven (ECC/HANH) is the public housing agency serving the City of New Haven. We serve over 6,100 families and over 14,000 individuals through our public housing, housing choice voucher and low-income housing tax credit programs. Through our affordable housing programs, residents pay no more than 30% of their income toward their housing expenses. Families are supported in reaching their life goals through a full array of supportive services that lead to the increased income, entrepreneurism, education attainment, homeownership and more. Elm City Communities is committed to expanding access to affordable housing services and to ensuring that these services are available in every community.

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