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Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author Andrea Elliott Inspires Hope at P2P’s Transforming Lives Luncheon

Andrea Elliott. Contributed photo: Cara Gilbride/Callalily Studios

Person to Person (P2P), a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting individuals and families in lower Fairfield County, hosted its annual Transforming Lives Luncheon with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Andrea Elliott as the featured speaker on Friday, October 20 at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich. The event successfully raised over $200,000 to support P2P’s mission of providing vital resources to those in need, helping them overcome daily challenges and putting them on a path toward economic stability.

Andrea Elliott, a journalist at The New York Times and author, discussed her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Invisible Child” (2022). The book chronicles the life of Dasani Coates, a young girl growing up homeless in New York City. For eight years, Elliott followed Dasani’s story, from childhood to the present day, revealing the challenges she faced. Elliott discussed the misunderstandings that often surround poverty, emphasizing the idea that when someone is constantly focused on basic survival, it is impossible for them to thrive.

The luncheon also featured a presentation by Katerine Gonzalez, a Stamford resident and Junior at the University of Connecticut. During her talk, Gonzalez shared her personal journey and experiences as a client of Person to Person. As a child, Gonzalez benefited from a P2P campership, which allowed her parents to work throughout the summer without worry. She is a graduate of the Academy of Information Technology and Engineering in Stamford and is currently a P2P scholarship recipient. Gonzalez is pursuing a major in Geographic Information Systems.

“Our Transforming Lives Luncheon this year shed light on critical issues in American society, including education, income inequality, racial injustice, food insecurity and housing, “ said Nancy Coughlin, P2P’s Chief Executive Officer. “We extend our appreciation to Andrea Elliott and Katerine Gonzalez for sharing their stories as well as those who attended the luncheon and donated generously to support our work. Sadly, stories like Dasani’s are a reality in our communities, emphasizing the importance of P2P’s services.”

The event was co-chaired by Tracey Riccardi and Tina Mazzullo. Sponsors included Tudor Investments, One River Asset Management, The Riccardi Family, U.S. Chemicals, LLC – a Woman-Owned Business, Angela & Tim Riley, Christina & Richard Wolff, Conair, Pitney Bowes, Summer Search, and Moffly Media.

For more information about Person to Person and its mission, please visit www.p2phelps.org.

Left to right: Tracey Riccardi, Katerine Gonzalez, Andrea Elliott, Tina Mazzullo, Nancy Coughlin. Contributed photo: Cara Gilbride/Callalily Studios
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