Westport’s Project Return alumnae speakers gather ‘Round the Table’

Three former Project Return residents will share their moving stories of healing and transformation at the second annual ‘Gather Round the Table’ Luncheon on Friday, Oct. 18.

Originally published in Westport News on Thursday, October 10, 2013

One young woman who lived at Project Return for more than a year graduated from a state university with a degree in psychology, worked as a preschool teacher in Westport, and now lives with her husband and two children in a neighboring town. She continues to support Project Return, an agency that provides shelter and support services for young women in crisis.

Another Project Return alumna lived in the agency’s transitional living apartment before joining the Air Force, served in South Korea, Germany and North Dakota, where she guarded nuclear missiles.

She now works in security at a local hospital and recently was awarded EMT certification.

Another former resident, a single mother, lives in Westport with her young daughter and supports herself by working in the restaurant field.

These three former Project Return residents will share their moving stories of healing and transformation at the agency’s second annual Gather Round the Table Luncheon on Friday, Oct. 18. Jane Carlin, a Project Return board member and a professor at Southern Connecticut State University, will act as moderator. The luncheon, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be at the Patterson Club, 1118 Cross Highway, Fairfield.

This year’s luncheon will highlight decorative tablescapes created by 22 prominent local designers and home stores. Last year’s Gather Round the Table was sold out, with 245 people attending and $60,000 raised in support of the agency’s programs and services. The luncheon provides an opportunity to connect with others in Fairfield County who care about adolescent girls and young women in need.

For 27 years, Project Return has played a life-changing role in the lives of adolescent girls and young women in crisis by helping them develop self-esteem, confidence, values, and the life skills they need to thrive and rebuild their lives. Growth and healing happen at the agency’s group home for girls who have experienced abuse and neglect.

Additional agency programs and services support young women once they have left the group home setting, and teen girls living in local communities who are suffering from a variety of emotional and social issues.

For tickets (75-$100) or more information, visit,, or call 203-222-8129.