Three cheers for Liberty Bank Foundation Director Catina Caban-Owen, who was honored by Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters on May 9 for her lifelong commitment to the well-being of children! The agency presented her with its Victoria L. Soto Memorial Award, which is named for a teacher who died in the Sandy Hook shooting while trying to protect her students. In accepting her award, Catina noted that it was particularly meaningful to her, since Victoria Soto was an alumna of Eastern Connecticut State University, where Catina is an adjunct faculty member. Two young ladies whom Catina has mentored and parented over the years were with her to celebrate her award; they are among many, many youngsters who have benefited from her loving heart and fierce determination to both defend them from harm and enable them to achieve their full potential.
Catina is a social worker at North Windham Elementary School who works with many young students from families struggling with poverty, addiction, mental illness, cultural integration, and other issues. She sees firsthand the trauma that is inflicted on children by these struggles, and brings that unique viewpoint to the deliberations of our foundation board. A Liberty Bank corporator, she was the recipient of the Liberty Bank Community Diversity Award in 2006 for her ongoing advocacy of diversity, equity, and inclusion in health care and education. Congratulations, Catina, on this well-deserved honor—and thank you for being part of the Liberty family!