Waterbury man empowering youth by teaching them one simple skill: tying a tie

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — One simple idea is tying a community together, and for Waterbury native, Victor Gonzalez, it all starts with a tie. 

“When you dress well, you kind of empower yourself,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez founded the nonprofit ‘Ties That Tie’ — he’s been holding events around Waterbury, teaching young men and women how to tie a tie. 

“I really wanted to change people’s perspective,” said Gonzalez, “and re-write the narrative of how people see us young men and really wanted to empower them.”

“The kid’s face: they have that accomplishment,” said Victor’s mother, Antoinette Yates.

It’s about more than dressing well. Gonzalez hopes to inspire people to do good. “I want to empower people really give back to their community and just really love where you come from,” he said.

It’s already working — he says the community has been eager to help his cause, especially the generous donations of ties. “It’s just overwhelming the amount of support I get.”

Gonzalez plans to continue Ties That Tie with after school mentoring programs. 

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