Logo for: Connecticut Opportunity Project


Youth Leader | Our Piece of the Pie

Aarmari had been having a challenging time getting through his first high school, and had his mind made up about the way he saw the world. But when he came to Our Piece of the Pie and began building relationships with Youth Development Professionals like Chanel, he started to become more open-minded.

"Chanel is like my oldest sister. We have a lot of the same personality traits. She helped me learn how to act in the workplace, how to carry myself, that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it and your body language. She’s helped me with stuff like tax forms, with going to the DMV and getting my license. She came to my graduation. It’s almost like they purposely put her here for me."

At Our Piece of the Pie, Aarmari started looking at the bigger picture and setting long-term goals.  At Opportunity Academy, the organization’s school for over-age, under-credited students, Aarmari found the flexibility, tools, and support he needed to succeed, and felt his spirit and sense of individuality grow stronger.  He found more opportunities to pursue his passion for art while also finishing three years of high school in one year and four months, graduating with his high school diploma.  He also got his first job through the Hartford Youth Service Corps, and began exploring which workplace environments would be a good fit for him.

Aarmari now has a full-time job with the City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works. He is also an artist who especially loves painting and graphic design.