Woman inspired to help Latino students with challenges 

MERIDEN — Marta Persia was inspired to open her own nonprofit for students after she struggled to receive assistance for her son who had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Persia’s son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 3. She recalled waiting months to get help, sometimes never hearing back.

Advocacy Academy Accomplish Education, which started in 2007, became a nonprofit in 2016. The program is aimed at Spanish-speaking families, providing resources for children with mental challenges and eliminating language barriers.

Advocacy Academy provides three support groups free of charge for Meriden and Wallingford residents. Persia, a Latina who lives in Meriden, also works with parents attending planning and placement team meetings and provides support to children that need assistance. One support group is for parents to discuss problems they are facing.

“Many parents struggle, they may not understand documents and they don’t have anyone to translate for them,” she said.

Another support group is for children ages 11 to 21. It provides training and mentoring.

Persia also provides one on one mentoring for those applying to college, including applications, financial aid, resume writing and reference letters.

The academy also offers scholarships. To qualify, students must complete 150 hours of community service. One student is chosen from Platt High School and one from Maloney High School.

Persia has also worked with students who are on the autism spectrum and those with Down syndrome.

Evelyn Robles Rivas, supervisor of language and community partnerships for Meriden Public Schools, said the program is a big help for students with disabilities and there families.

“I think it’s a great opportunity especially for advocacy, it’s working not only with students but with family,” Robles Rivas said. “I think this agency is really important.”

All meetings are currently held over zoom due to the pandemic. For more information call 475-775-5780 or visit http://advocacyacademyae.com.

jdiaz@record-journal.com203-317-2386Twitter: @jarelizz


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