(Copyright 1997. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

April 7, 1997

Upward Bound advisor helps teens

By Hila Yosafi
Tattoo Staff Writer

  The success of a new college readiness program
helping about 50 students at the city's two high
schools depends in part on Lynette Correa.
  So far, the New Britain resident is winning
rave reviews.
  "She pushes you, she cares about you, she
wants you to succeed and go to college," said
Shawnti Chiarappi, a Bristol Central High School
junior in the new Upward Bound program. 
  Chiarappi said Correa "listens to your
personal thoughts.  If she were to be replaced,
I wouldn't like anyone else."
  In its first school year in Bristol, Upward
Bound aims to help low-income students attend
college. It includes tutoring, field trips,
college visits and assistance in filling out
  Correa is the programís tutor coordinator for
students. She tracks the progress of
participating teens and serves as a liaison
between teachers and counselors.
  Central sophomore Joshua Flores, also in the
program, said Correa "is really devoted to
Upward Bound. She cares."
  Correa, a New York City native, works mostly
as a community organizer with Pathways/Senderos
in New Britain, a teen pregnancy prevention
  But, she said, "I saw the opportunity to get
involved in the Bristol area" with the Upward
Bound program.
  Correa said she chose a career helping teens
because it gives her "a joyous feeling."
  "I feel successful when I am able to get
through to youth to see a different path in
life, and that they listened," said Correa.
  "Lynette is a good person to work with ≠ very
open, very welcome, she treats people like her
best friend," said Flores. "If you want to talk
to her, she'll help you.  Lynette is the type of
person willing to lend a helping hand."
  "I think I was put on this Earth to mentor,"
said Correa with her hearty laugh.
  Correa's main job, in New Britain, aims to
convince teens to focus on education rather than
sex. The goal is to break the pattern of teens
having children who, in turn, wind up having
children too young.
  She said there should be more programs to
combat teen pregnancy because success would mean
fewer people on welfare and more working class
  Correa gets deeply involved in teens' lives
and families, making home visits and finding
activities to keep young people busy. Some
projects have included cleaning streets, wiping
off graffiti and an Adopt-a-Grandparent program.
  Even when she is not working, Correa is still
volunteering her time and dedication to youths
through volunteering.  Correa is a volunteer
coach for New Britain's Church Basketball League
and assists Citizens Action of New Britain in
its effort to stop violence. She works with teen
parents at Hartford Hospital and delivers
holiday meals to the needy.
  Correa said she believes in the old African
proverb that "it takes a village to raise a
child" ≠ and she lives it, too.