Community Spotlight: Empowerment Through Connection – A Sit Down With Cierra Hall-Hipkins – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #43

by placers on March 15, 2024 in Outside Insights



I’m a Delawarian through and through and perhaps one of my favorite characteristics of our little state is the big impact that local nonprofits have on our communities. I’ve been honored to speak with many leaders from these non-profits and am thankful that I can further their message through the Outside Insights platform.


Recently, I had the chance to speak with the co-founder of one of my favorite organizations yet: Cierra Hall-Hipkins from Network Connect.


Founded in 2019, Network Connect serves as a bridge to fill gaps in Delaware’s community services by providing unique support tailored to the needs of Black and Brown families. Cierra and her team work to build community capacity by coordinating grassroots and local partners to provide youth and families with social services, education programs, workforce skills, and mental health support.


Click the play button on the podcast play above or the video below to listen to this episode of Outside Insights to learn more about Network Connect’s mission.


Two of the Network Connect’s critical initiatives you’ll hear about in the podcast include their Community Well-Being Ambassador (CWA) program and their Future Culture Creators workforce development program for teens.


The ambassador program employs local residents to serve as connectors between community members and resources. CWAs provide mental health, substance abuse, positive activities, youth support, and essential needs solutions.


The workforce development program provides teens with professional skills as well as training in design thinking and civic engagement. Over 100 youth have already graduated from this life-changing program!


So, what inspired Cierra to take on such an important mission in the first place? Cierra’s motivation comes from her lifelong passion for service and Wilmington roots. With degrees in rehab counseling and experience in nonprofits and education, she has witnessed firsthand the needs not being met in many communities.


Running a growing nonprofit is not without challenges, but Cierra stays resilient. She emphasizes the importance of empathy, patience, and sticking through the tough times. Support from her team and her spiritual grounding also keep her going.


There are always more people to serve, so Network Connect continues to expand their impact – and the team has big goals this year! Please consider supporting Network Connect’s mission by attending their fundraising gala on Friday, April 20. Tickets can be purchased here! Be sure to follow along with Network Connect’s mission on Facebook and Instagram.


Thank you for listening, reading, and supporting this important cause, friends.




If you found this conversation with Cierra Hall-Hipkins insightful and valuable, make sure to subscribe to Outside Insights, with the links below, for more enriching discussions on entrepreneurship, creativity, and mental health. Join our community of entrepreneurs and thought leaders, and let’s grow together! You can subscribe to the podcast wherever you find your podcasts and on YouTube.

If you enjoyed this, I recommend listening to these past Outside Insights Podcast episodes:

Entrepreneurial Gems: A Chat with John Ratliff – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #42.

Leveraging Tech for Social Good – A Sit Down With Pat Callihan – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #41

Finding Success Off the Corporate Ladder – A Sit Down WIth Chris Bystriansky – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #40

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