CT Baby Bond program gives children born in poverty a brighter future


BRIDGEPORT – Like most parents, Shondell Vann wants the best for his child. She doesn’t want her 2 month old daughter, Maria Jackson, to grow up with limitations or restrictions.

So the Bridgeport resident was excited about the CT Baby Bonds program, which began on July 1 and creates a trust for babies whose births are covered by the state’s Medicaid program. When these children are between the ages of 18 and 30 and have completed a financial literacy course, they can apply for access to trust funds for specific expenses. These expenses include college fees, buying a home in Connecticut, investing in a business in Connecticut, or saving for retirement.

For parents like Vann, this means that even if their child is born into poverty, they can still build a successful life. It’s a huge relief, Vann said. “(Children) are the future, so we have to make sure they’re okay,” she said.

Vann spoke at a Baby Bonds program press conference Thursday, which was held at the Alliance for Community Empowerment in Bridgeport. The event was part of State Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden’s CT Baby Bonds educational tour. Wood said the program aims to close the wealth gap and reduce generational poverty in the state.

The purpose of the program is to “focus on the whole child” and help them “grow into successful adults,” Wooden said.

Other people who spoke at Thursday’s event included State Senator Marilyn Moore, who represents Bridgeport, Monroe and Trumbull. Like Vann, Moore said the Baby Bond program has the potential to make a difference for children in low-income households.

“We look, from the moment a child is born into poverty, that the parent has something to look forward to for that child,” Moore said.

Moore said about $ 50 million in general bonds per year has been set aside for the program for the next 12 years. General Bond Bonds are Connecticut’s primary bonding program and are used to fund programs such as grants for building schools, community care facilities, housing grants and loans, and others. efforts.

Attendees at the press conference also included Monette M. Ferguson, Executive Director of the Alliance for Community Empowerment. The alliance strives to provide individuals, families and communities with the appropriate tools, skills and opportunities necessary for economic stability and self-reliance.

The agency serves more than 35,000 people per year through its wide range of services in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull and Westport.

Ferguson said she was thrilled to host the Baby Bonds event and that she hoped programs like this would reduce poverty to the point where the Alliance and organizations like it would no longer be needed. “We want to go bankrupt,” she said. “This is why we are here.”

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