Opinion: Norwalk ACTS director’s weekly shout outs

Anthony Allison

Anthony Allison is the executive director of Norwalk ACTS.

Shout Out to the Norwalk Housing Authority’s (NHA) STEM Coordinator Sheiree Powell who was asked to present at the National After School Convention (NAA) on one of NHA’s STEM programs, Urban Birding: Scientific Discovery that Protects the Planet. This program allows students in Kindergarten through 12th grade to participate in national research from Cornell University.

Every year, thousands of after school professionals and leaders from all over the United States gather to get inspired, connected, learn and share at the NAA. Of the nearly 170 sessions at NAA, participants rated Sheiree’s workshop on Urban Birding as among the top 35 at the conference. With this recognition, Sheiree has been invited to present as part of the Virtual Convention, as well as being part of NAA’s podcasts and webinars, and submitting contributions to NAA’s e-news and AfterSchool Today magazine. NHA after school programs continue to provide learning and networking opportunities on both a national and local level. The top 35 presenters and honorable mentions will be featured in the NAA’s May e-news.


Shout Out to Hervins Jeannis, Norwalk Housing Authority / Norwalk Housing Foundation scholarship recipient, who just received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in medical prosthetics.

Jeannis, who successfully defended his dissertation in February, says the point of his research is to raise awareness as well as to give voice to those impacted. “This is an underrepresented group in science and engineering, largely because laboratories do not accommodate those with disabilities,” he says. To help colleges and universities across the country make their laboratory courses more accessible for students with physical disabilities, Jeannis turned to those students (and former students) for input. “I’ve worked for companies in the past where millions of dollars went to waste because the client wasn’t involved in the process and ultimately didn’t find the outcome useful,” he says. “I wanted to keep the user in the loop, to hear their voice, what challenges they have and what solutions work for them.”

To read more about Dr. Jeannis, click on the link to the Syracuse University (his undergraduate alma mater) African American and Latino Alumni magazine. (scroll to page 22)


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