YW Women of Distinction: Novelette Peterkin


The YWCA Darien/Norwalk will honor six local women who have made significant contributions to our community at the fourth Annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards & Luncheon on Thursday, May 16 at Woodway Country Club in Darien. The Women of Distinction Award is bestowed in recognition of the outstanding achievements of a select group of women who demonstrate the spirit of the YWCA’s brand vision to empower women. This year’s honorees are: Louise Parker Berry, Katie Farren (Young Woman of Distinction), Rita Ferri, Novelette Peterkin, Sueann Schorr, Ciara Thurlow and Babs White (distinguished service award). This is part one of these profiles. See part two next week.

Novelette Peterkin, Executive Director of the Carver Foundation of Norwalk, serves many community initiatives, including the 33-member Norwalk Collaborative for Youth Success and as an advisor to the Norwalk Board of Education in the search for a new Superintendent of Schools. Since 2005, Peterkin tripled the budget and outreach of Carver’s after school programming with 100% of its students graduating on-time. Carver serves economically challenged youth and their families through community, educational, enrichment and recreational programs. Intensive college and career prep after school programs led by certified teachers are based within the Carver community center and in Norwalk’s four middle and two high schools. Carver’s world also includes a bustling community center, active Carver alumni, community outreach, college scholarship funds, summer camp, a winning basketball travel team drawing players from Norwalk and neighboring towns such as Darien, international service learning, parent leadership, and spring and fall national college tours. Peterkin led the initiative for the city of Norwalk to win the America’s Promise Alliance “100 Best Communities for Young People” award for the past three years.

Peterkin’s career began in finance and then as an administrator for several leading childcare agencies in New York City. Dick Whitcomb said “Novelette represents the values and ideas of the entire Carver Center philosophy. She gains strength from her human relationships. Her positive attitude toward the whole Carver educational process, her appreciation for the opportunities Carver has to offer, and her self-motivation has been the key to her extraordinary success.”

More info: ywcadariennorwalk.org.

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