UConn PEP: Empowering Communities

Program Description

The PEP program is a personal, family and leadership development program with a strong community focus. PEP is designed to build on the unique strengths and life experiences of participants and emphasizes the connection between individual and community action. The program is conducted by a UConn Extension trained facilitator. The facilitator provides 10 two-hour sessions on the following topics:
• Values clarification
• Communication skills
• Problem solving
• Understanding the helping role
• Parenting
• Leadership skills
• Action planning
• Community opportunity

Following the formal training sessions, participants will complete an individual and/or group project (s) that benefit the community.

How UConn PEP Works

UConn PEP uses a train-the-trainer model to fine-tune skills and extend individual education.


  • Is an agency staff member or volunteer.
  • Attends a 2-day facilitator training conference.
  • Holds an informational meeting.
  • Recruits and interviews participants.
  • Conducts 10-weekly 2-hour training sessions and follow-up educational sessions.
  • Supports participants in projects.

UConn PEP participants:

  • Generally devote 4-8 months to the program.
  • Participate in 10 weekly 2-hour sessions on values, communication skills, problem solving, parenting, action planning, community assessment, and community issues or related topics.
  • Attend weekly or bi-monthly follow up training and support meetings.
  • Conduct individual or group projects in their communities.
  • Develop enhanced self-esteem and inner strengths.

Who trains the facilitators?

UConn Extension provides two days of facilitator training, the training will be offer using an iPad with the 200 pages PEP manual, link will be send to participants at the end of the 1st day. Handouts are provided. The curriculum it's also available in Spanish & Arabic, please ask about it. Training is generally held at the Hartford County Extension Center, 270 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06232, unless otherwise noticed, or online, and cost is $500.00.

Robin Drago-Provencher provides the facilitator training, she has over 20 years of experience with the UConn PEP program.

Where is PEP?

The PEP program is adaptable to a variety of settings and can be found at family resource centers, community based agencies, faith communities and correctional centers throughout Connecticut and in other states. Contact us if you are looking to participate, and we can help you find a group

Who benefits?

Participants: PEP helps participants focus on their own personal strengths. They enhance their communication skills, problem solving abilities, parenting and relationship skills, and they achieve a greater understanding of, and become more involved with their communities.
Facilitators: PEP helps facilitators learn more about their community and gain skills in working with groups.
Communities: PEP helps build leaders who take an active role in their community.

Program Goals

Goal: Greater understanding of personal strengths.

Objective: By the end of their participation in UConn PEP, participants will be able to:
• State their personal values or what is important to them.
• State personal changes in knowledge, attitudes, skills and aspirations.

Goal: Significant increase communication skills.

Objective: By the end of their participation in UConn PEP, participants will be able to:
• Use “I” statements to express thoughts, feelings and ideas.
• Able to express opinions when others disagree.
• Use one or more strategies to prevent children’s misbehavior.

Goal: Significantly increase their understanding of and involvement in the community.

Objective: By the end of their participation in UConn PEP, participants will be able to:
• Know what to do to make the community a better place.
• Work as a group to complete one or more projects.
• Volunteer to assume a new leadership position.plete an individual and/or group project (s) that benefit the community.