Adriana Rodriguez has now been the executive director of SCOW — the Spanish Community of Wallingford — for more than six months, and this seems like an appropriate time to look at her tenure so far and to highlight the work of the organization, with which many people may be unfamiliar.
The stated purpose of this private social-service agency “is to assist Latino individuals and families to succeed in their new home, the United States of America. We like to think of ourselves as embodying its best attributes: an open heart welcoming immigrants and a willing hand to help them succeed.”
That attitude may not be in line with federal policy at the moment, but it represents a sound tradition in our history and appeals to what Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”
Rodriguez, who started out as a SCOW client, later became a volunteer. SCOW helped her mother learn English and become a citizen through its citizen preparation classes.
Growing up in Wallingford, Rodriguez said, she felt like a mentor to other Spanish-speaking kids, as someone who spoke both Spanish and English. She started volunteering at SCOW at age 13, going on to win the United Way of Meriden-Wallingford Volunteer of the Year award in 2003 and 2004.
Rodriguez became a SCOW volunteer at age 16, and now runs the organization, where she works “to integrate and be part of this beautiful town.”
Her predecessor, Maria Campos Harlow, went on to become the executive director of the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford.
SCOW has more than 2,700 clients, a 13-member board of directors, three full-time and four part-time staffers, and an annual budget of around $290,000.
SCOW provides educational and leadership programs for kids of all ages, social services and immigration services assistance.
With vital, young leadership and community support, we hope and expect to see continuing success for SCOW.