Month: November 2008

Stacy Violante Cote, SSW Alumni Receives Honor

Stacy Violante Cote, Social Worker and Lawyer, is one of UConn’s 40 under 40 Outstanding Young Alumni.

UConn Magazine, Special Edition, Volume 9, Number 3 – Fall/Winter 2008

Stacey Violante Cote, 36

40 Under 40Social Worker and Lawyer

For Stacey Violante Cote ’00 M.S.W., ’01 J.D., enrolling as a dual-degree student at UConn’s Schools of Social Work and Law provided the best of both worlds.

Cote took on numerous internships and externships — among them a position at the Center for Children’s Advocacy, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the UConn School of Law that works to protect the legal rights of low-income children.

There, Cote found her passion and has not looked back.

Stacey Violante Cote
Photo by Peter Morenus

Today, she serves as a staff attorney at the Center as well as project director of the Center’s Teen Legal Advocacy Clinic, which specializes in promoting the legal rights of teenagers in areas such as education advocacy, the legal rights of teens in DCF and improper denials of state and federal benefits.

“We go out to where the kids are,” says Cote, noting the clinic’s services reach teens in schools, group homes, community agencies, homeless shelters and beyond.

“Teens are not going to knock on our door; they may not even know they have legal rights that are being violated,” she says.

“It’s on us to go out there, find them, talk about their legal rights, advocate for them and teach them how to advocate for themselves.”

Conn. campaign works to register Latino voters

Efforts are made every election to get people to register to vote and to encourage them to follow through on election day. This election is no exception, and here in Connecticut, strides have been made to register the Puerto Rican population to vote.

On Oct. 14, UConn’s School of Social Work hosted a discussion on why more Puerto Ricans vote in Puerto Rico than in the United States. During the past two years, numerous efforts have been made to register Puerto Ricans to vote in Connecticut. Throughout the state, there are eight grassroots committees operating in cities such as Bridgeport, Danbury, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, Willamantic, Torrington, Waterbury, New Haven and New London.

“We have people who set up tables at baseball games, community events and recruit people to vote,” said Antonia Cordero, associate professor at the UConn School of Social Work and a chair of the Puerto Rican/Latino Studies Project.

There is a nationwide effort to get more Puerto Ricans registered to vote.

The number of Puerto Ricans who vote in Puerto Rico is around 80 percent of the population, which is much higher than the number who vote in the continental United States.

“There are language barriers in the voting process, and the process is different in the United States than their native land,” Cordero said. “There are primaries in the United States, different voting machines and there is a fear of the unknown.”

The efforts made across the state are received well by various UConn students.

“I think this is a very good thing, especially because this election is very historical, and people should know they have a voice,” said Rosa Munoz, a 7th-semester human development and family studies major.

“I think the efforts a good, and I think voting is important regardless of race,” said Brandon Lawrence, a 5th-semester animal science major.

The campaign hopes to register many Latino voters and encourage them to go out on election day.

“There are going to be a lot more Latino voters, as never seen before,” Cordero said. “The grassroot committees are empowering.”

The Connecticut Latino voter campaign has a goal of registering 10,000 Latinos and as of now they have registered more than 9,000.

Credits to The Daily Campus
Liz Ruocco

Issue date: 11/3/08 Section: Election Special