Doreen Abubakar, Resident Leader and NHS of New Haven Partner

Doreen Abubakar has a history with NHS and our staff dating back to the early 1990s when she and our Community Sustainability Director, Kathy Fay, were neighbors in the Dixwell neighborhood. They both worked on the Rainbow Recycling truck and even then, Doreen was engaged with youth on environmental entrepreneurship efforts.

Kathy reconnected with Doreen after beginning her work with NHS, during a public meeting at the Barnard Nature Center years later. They both attended the meeting to learn about the tidegate restoration work being done on the West River. Doreen was volunteering at the registration desk. She spoke to Kathy about a couple of West River Watershed-related projects she wanted to bring in NHS as a partner: a youth education, science and watershed exploration effort and a partnership of stewardship organizations called the West River Watershed Partnership (prior to the formation of the West River Watershed Coalition). The youth education effort culminated in a water festival in July. Kathy became the co-chair of the festival. The West River Water Festival was held for nine years until COVID made the celebration impossible.

NHS has also helped Doreen with her development of the Learning Corridor/Shelton Triangle in Newhallville. A graduate of the NHS Resident Leadership Series, NHS helped her as a fiduciary early on while she started her nonprofit, Community Placemaking and Engagement Network (CPEN). Since her graduation from the Leadership program, Doreen has become a regular facilitator.

She has also served as a Summer VISTA, and is now a Board member. There is no shortage of articles about her work, and it’s amazing just how many things she’s done that NHS was able to have a small hand in.

She will be leading the first class of our Resident Leadership Program called “Leadership in Real Life.”

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