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Network Connect Story

As its motto suggests, “We Are the Network Connecting Communities,” Network Connect is a nonprofit that takes a community connection, resource building, and information awareness approach to youth and family development with community at its center.

What makes Network Connect unique is the people behind the organization.  Network Connect’s leadership and staff look like the community they serve, have social capital, and train to provide 21st-century case management while also having the necessary experience with vulnerable populations to contribute to the organization's success.

Most importantly, serving youth and their families is the Executive Director's passion and commitment. Cierra sees this work as a way to give back to the community that raised her.

Network Connect promotes youth and family development through seven key programs: Community Well-being Ambassadors, Dual School, Future Culture Creators, Reverse the ACES, Wilmington Street Team, Safe Passage, and

Messaging Center.

Since officially incorporating and receiving 501(c)3 status in 2019, Network Connect has proved its ability to provide a highly effective youth employment program, even with limited funding and staff, and during a global pandemic. The success of the Future Culture Creators program can be highlighted by the accomplishments of the participants, who excelled even during quarantine restrictions and were able to provide important services for their peers.

Portrait photo of Cierra

Cierra Hall-Hipkins

Founder Facts

Cierra Hall-Hipkins is a shining example of how a single individual can positively impact their community. Possessing a strong commitment to improving the lives of those around her, Cierra has dedicated her career to helping others.

Cierra has a bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a wealth of experience in leadership positions. She has over 10 years of experience in leadership positions at multiple nonprofit organizations.

In 2019, Cierra co-founded Network Connect, where she currently serves as the Executive Director. Cierra is also a Board Member for the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence and has successfully spearheaded initiatives to expand organizations’ reach. Her commitment to improving the well-being of others was recognized in 2022 by Technically Delaware, who named her the Culture Builder of the Year.

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our leadership team

Brandie Watson portrait photo

Brandie Watson

Brandie Watson is a Wilmington native and mother of 2 rambunctious boys who keep her on her toes. She loves spending time outdoors gardening and traveling to exotic places learning about regional ancestral cultures and practices. She is an avid crystal collector and comes to Network Connect with over 20 years of program implementation experience.
Jayln Powell portrait photo

Jalyn Powell

Jalyn is a community advocate and leader, who received her BA in Political Science at Delaware State University. She received her Master of Arts in Law degree with a concentration in Human Rights and Rule of Law from Regent University School of Law. In May of 2022 Powell was awarded the YWCA`s Genevieve Gore Young Women's Leadership Award for her commitment to social justice and empowering women. Jalyn has traveled the country to speak to audiences about persevering through adversity, youth and women empowerment, finding and amplifying your voice and so much more! Jalyn’s passion and work in the social justice field does not go unnoticed. Most recently Jalyn was named as one of Delaware's Most Influential People of 2023.
Shanelle Warthen portrait photo

Shanelle Warthen

Shanelle received her undergraduate degree from Temple University in Human Resource Management. One of her personal goals is to help her children live a better life than she has lived by helping them become balanced spiritually, mentally, and emotionally and succeed financially. She believes the sky's the limit and everything is possible with God. Professionally, she is driven by helping people succeed at all levels within Network Connect  in any way that she can help.
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Cover image of Network Connect's media kit
Download Our Media Kit

Discover more about Network Connect and our impactful work in the community with our comprehensive media kit. Inside, you’ll find detailed information about our mission, programs, and the remarkable stories of transformation we've facilitated. This kit provides valuable insights for journalists, partners, and supporters interested in sharing and contributing to our journey of empowering youth and families. Get a closer look at our impact!

All Videos

All Videos

All Videos
Future Culture Creators

Future Culture Creators

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Cierra, Executive Director of Network Connect

Cierra, Executive Director of Network Connect

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Aliyah - Community Well-Being Ambassador

Aliyah - Community Well-Being Ambassador

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Thanksgiving in Wilmington

Thanksgiving in Wilmington

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connect with us!

Reach out to connect today and learn more about us, join one of our programs, or how to support our mission!

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