WNPR

Vanessa de la Torre

Reporter

Vanessa de la Torre comes to WNPR after more than a decade as a newspaper reporter at the Hartford Courant, where her storytelling and investigative work on Hartford education was recognized regionally and by the Education Writers Association. She has also written for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida and interned at the Washington Post and the Imperial Valley Press in her native El Centro, Calif., a desert town near the U.S.-Mexico border. Vanessa received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and her master's from Stanford’s journalism program.

Ways to Connect

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

A sign taped to the door told customers that Story and Soil Coffee was closing early for a staff training.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Commencement was two days away and Karina Lasalle Arroyo had hauled out nearly seven months’ worth of luggage from her time in Connecticut.

She stood in a dormitory parking lot and confirmed she was ready to go home.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Faltando dos días para la ceremonia de graduación, Karina Lasalle Arroyo había sacado el equipaje, con un valor de casi siete meses de su permanencia en Connecticut.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Minutes into touring the Mark Twain House in Hartford, the visitors came across a black-and-white photo of a young Clara Clemens, a daughter of Mark Twain. Soon, it dawned on everyone that Clara looks a lot like Milianis Rivera, a Puerto Rican evacuee.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Minutos después de entrar a visitar la casa de Mark Twain en Hartford, los visitantes pasaron por una foto blanco y negro de la hija menor de Mark Twain, Clara Clemens de joven. Pronto, fue evidente para todos que Clara se parece mucho a Milianis Rivera, una evacuada puertorriqueña.

Bulkeley High School senior Yeicy Alejandro, smiling at left, talks to her new mentors from Central Connecticut State University. They're in the new "Ambassadors" program - Puerto Rican evacuees helping other students displaced by Hurricane Maria.
Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Communications major Marivelisse Acosta attends Central Connecticut State University. But on Wednesday night, she stood in the cafeteria of Hartford’s Bulkeley High School, contemplating what to say as a mentor to the school’s displaced students from Puerto Rico.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

La especialista en comunicaciones Marivelisse Acosta asiste a la Universidad Estatal Central de Connecticut. Pero el miércoles en la noche, estuvo en la cafetería de la Secundaria Bulkeley de Hartford, reflexionando sobre qué decir como tutora a los estudiantes de la escuela desplazados desde Puerto Rico.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A sprightly “Good morning!” awaited students and parents who approached Sanchez Elementary School on the Friday before spring break.

Maybe the school staff was in an extra good mood? But Merelys Torres, secretary of Sanchez’s parent-teacher organization, said it’s like this every morning. She noticed it right away when her family came to Hartford from Puerto Rico last fall — a sensitive time for her two kids.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Un animado "¡Buenos días!" esperaba a estudiantes y padres que se acercaban a la Escuela Primaria Sánchez el viernes antes de las vacaciones de primavera.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

They came from countries like Haiti, Italy, Canada, Mexico, and Ghana. And on Thursday, inside the downtown Hartford Public Library, 50 immigrants took the Oath of Allegiance from U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Like many of his neighbors, Bernie Michel came to Hartford from somewhere else.

In Michel’s case, Ohio.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s lunchtime at Central Connecticut State University and 10 students converge on their usual spot in the dining hall. They start talking about the food — and it becomes clear that they don’t love the rice. They explain that it’s not as seasoned as the homemade arroz in Puerto Rico.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Es la hora del almuerzo en la Universidad Estatal Central de Connecticut y 10 estudiantes se reúnen es su lugar habitual del comedor. Empiezan a hablar sobre la comida y se hace evidente que no les gusta mucho el arroz. Explican que no está sazonado como el arroz casero de Puerto Rico.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s mid-March and Hartford Public High School teacher Bridget Allison goes over essay-writing tips for her fourth-period class. After a while, she checks in on a group of students who are seated together — a few of the evacuees from Puerto Rico.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Es mediado de marzo y la profesora de la Secundaria Pública de Hartford, Bridget Allison, repasa las pautas para redacción de ensayos en su cuarto período de clase. Luego de un rato, confirma con un grupo de estudiantes que se sientan juntos, unos pocos evacuados de Puerto Rico.

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