Center Program Teams Up with Utica Boilermaker

Six youth from Utica’s immigrant community ran in this year’s Boilermaker with the help of local programs offered by race coordinators and The Center.

The Boilermaker Access Program—supported by New Hartford’s The Sneaker Store—removes financial barriers that might otherwise discourage some athletes from competing, while The Center’s Making a Connection (MAC) program provides youth in the community with mentors and services to facilitate their adjustment to life here in Utica.  

Rochelle Crouch, who manages the MAC program, expressed her gratitude to The Sneaker Store and the Boilermaker for engaging with the city’s immigrant community. Not only do these programs encourage young people to embrace healthy lifestyle choices, she noted, but they also bring together two long standing hallmarks of Utica culture—its world-famous road race and prominent refugee community—in a way that benefits everyone involved. 

The story of these six runners is only one example of how the MAC program has connected immigrant or refugee youth in the area with their new community. To learn more about how The Center can help with the often-daunting process of social and cultural acclimatization, please check out the MAC webpage at

Originally published on, 7/10/2022

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