N E W S L E T T E R        Fall  2017

   Director's Message
Dear Friends of DSABC,

With the 2017 -2018 school year well underway, DSABC is excited to welcome all  of our returning mentors as well as many new volunteers. While recruitment efforts have been strong this fall, we still have many students in all grade levels who would benefit from a positive one-on-one relationship with a caring adult. If your company would like more information on engaging with DSABC and making a difference in the lives of Danbury students, we would love the opportunity to meet with you. Thank you to our Business Liaisons who tirelessly promote DSABC within their companies and our mentors who continue to share their stories which prove to be our best source of recruitment. 

DSABC will be collaborating on a new initiative this year. Our Program Committee is working with the Danbury Early College Opportunity (DECO) program to support an internship plan providing Danbury High School students participating in DECO the opportunity for part-time jobs with area businesses and community organizations. We are looking to place about 30 students starting in early 2018 that could incorporate general business skills or a specialization in technology as an intern. If you would like more information regarding the program or if your company or organization is interested in hiring a student intern, please contact us. 
Additionally, DSABC has evaluated our Scholarship program and beginning in 2018, plans to offer scholarships renewable for up to four years to further support students beyond graduation. Since the inception of the Scholarship program in 1997, DSABC has presented $276,000 in scholarship to 191 students. Many of our 2017 graduates have already claimed their scholarships and are using the funds to attend a variety of schools including the University of Connecticut, Naugatuck Valley Community College, the University of New Hampshire, Norwalk Community College and the Harris School of Business. 
All of this would not be possible without your continued support of DSABC.  I wish you an enjoyable and fulfilling year of mentoring!

Kind regards,


Ellen Meyst
DSABC Executive Director

'Mentor Mash' celebrates volunteers, 
students, community
A day of food, music, games to support education

By Robin Provey

This summer's "Mentor Mash" was a fun, creative way for Danbury Schools and Business Collaborative (DSABC) to raise awareness for the program that unites mentors with students in the Danbury schools and to welcome the community to learn more about the program.

The event was held at the Ives Center at Western Connecticut State University's Westside campus in Danbury on Saturday, Aug. 12, and included food trucks, retail vendors, sand art, games, and music from four area bands: The Cold Ones, GoRjA, Sweet Redemption and headliner Hailey Knox.

"Those who attended had an opportunity to hang out with great bands, enjoy fantastic music, eat top-notch food and do some shopping," said Steve Gagnon, DSABC Board secretary and event organizer. "Everyone there left with a smile while helping out DSABC. It was a great day."

The event was also made possible through the generosity of Berkshire Broadcasting, Reynolds & Rowella, Branson Ultrasonics, Savings Bank of Danbury, Union Savings Bank, Connecticut Coining and many others who volunteered their services, including Rep. Michael Ferguson, the City of Danbury mayor's office.

Michael Cunningham, a Danbury High School sophomore, has been in the program since third grade and has had the same mentor, Bob Port, since sixth grade. Michael, who worked as volunteer at the event, said DSABC has been a positive experience in his life.

"You have a role model to talk to," he said. "You can say what you want, and they won't judge."

Michael, who plays baseball, said his mentor comes to nearly every one of his home games, in addition to helping with math and talking about sports in general. Of the "Mentor Mash," Michael said: "Other people get to find out what it's like to be a mentor and have a fun time."

Tonya Clark, a teacher at Henry Abbott Technical School in Danbury for 23 years, sees firsthand how the program has helped students at her school.

"Mentors come to the school and have lunch. It's a great program," Clark said. "The mentors have great conversations with their students, and it's awesome that businesses allow employees to do this."

Over the years, Clark said she has seen the difference DSABC makes in students.

"The kids are excited when their mentors are there," she said. "They are always happy to see them. It's someone they really do connect with. Sometimes kids need an extra adult in their lives."

Cynthia Rauschert of Spark Arts/Circus Moves in Bethel brought circus activities, such as juggling, for children to try and said: "We promote overall wellness, community cooperation, and fitness, which boost and support education."

More photos from the Mentor Mash Summer Fest 2017
are posted on our Facebook Page. 
Thank you to our Mentor Mash Sponsors
Berkshire Broadcasting
Branson Ultrasonics
City of Danbury
Connecticut Coining
Michael Ferguson
Steve Gagnon
Reynolds and Rowella
Savings Bank of Danbury
Union Savings Bank
Welcome New Mentors 

DSABC One-on-One Mentoring Program 

Jorge Villalona - Boehringer Ingelheim
Jason Szekeres - Branson
Lindsay Duva - Cartus
Priscila Herrera - Cartus
Alex Kerpen - Cartus
Brigitte Maher - Cartus
Nina Caraluzzi - Praxair
Ralph Mancini - Praxair
Rachtha Thach - Savings Bank of Danbury
Cary Conroy - Independent
Joyce Deboben - Independent
Bob Fried - Independent
Susan LePine - Independent
Sheetal Sharma - Independent

WorkPlace Learning E-Mentoring Program

Gail Kaufman -  Crown World Mobility
Michael Ferguson - Danbury Hospital 
Danbury Early College Opportunity 
Celebrates Students' Achievements  
By Meghan Edwards

High school can be one of the most stressful and challenging times of people's lives. To be able to succeed in it requires immense dedication and drive, both of which seven Danbury High School students showcase everyday.   These students - juniors Francis Sanchez, Alex Sanchez, Ian Robinson, and Michael Campisi, and seniors Veronica Becker, Katherine Naulaguari and Charis Nyarko - are members of the Danbury Early College Opportunity (DECO) program.

The district held a ceremony at DHS to celebrate its third anniversary running DECO, and to honor the seven students for their achievements.
DECO, headed by Sarah Roy, lets students take college courses throughout high school so that by graduation they can walk with an associate's degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) and a high school diploma.

Superintendent Sal Pascarella, at the ceremony, said that this college degree is a student's "key to success," which is why DECO was implemented at DHS.

"Our responsibility is to challenge you," Pascarella said, "which is why this program was intended to get more students involved in college work."

The group was joined by NVCC president Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Pascarella, Roy, Principal Dan Donovan and various other administrators and faculty members to celebrate their success.   The ceremony began with a speech by Filippis congratulating the students and acknowledging their preparedness for what is to come in the future.

"You should have full confidence that you can succeed," Filippis told them after sharing an anecdote of some of her college students' doubt that they had the ability to succeed following high school.

Alex and Francis Sanchez, Robinson, and Campisi were given the "Outstanding Academic Achievement Award." This recognized the students' incredible ability to gain above a 3.5 GPA in their college courses while earning more than 21 college credits.

The remainder of the group - Becker, Naulaguari, and Nyarko - were awarded with the title, "High Drive Achievers." These students have been able to skip a full year of high school and instead of graduating in the typical four years, will remarkably graduate in only three.

"We're really proud of you," Pascarella said about the students. "Remember that what you are doing is important and it matters."

Calendar Watch

1, 2, 3, 6 - Parent Teacher Conferences - Early Dismissal - Elementary & Middle Schools
7 - Professional Development - Schools Closed
10 - Veterans' Day - Schools Closed
14 - One Hour Early Release
14 - One Hour Early Release
22 - Early Dismissal
23, 24 - Thanksgiving Recess - Schools Closed

12 - One Hour Early Release
19 - One Hour Early Release
25 - 29 - Holiday Recess - Schools Closed

Thank You to our Donors 
Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation

Mentors Making 
a Difference
One Scoop at a Time

Thank you to our mentors at Cartus who held 
an ice cream fundraser 
to support DSABC!

Mentor Training 
Bullying 101 (Webinar)
Monday, November 13, 2017 
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm 
You are invited to join this webinar to gain insight on a prominent issue 
facing youth today - bullying.   Learn about helpful tools and resources 
for preventing and intervening in  these situations. 
DSABC Board News
Welcome New Board Members

Judy Coco
Marnie Durkin
Crystal Taft
Many Thanks to Departing Members

Kristin Goncalves
Doug Orr
Val Tracey
We want to hear from YOU!
In order to make our newsletter as relevant and interesting as possible, we need YOUR input for future publications.   Share your mentoring stories, tell us why you became a mentor or let us know how your company supports mentoring. 
Email contributions to  meyste@danbury.k12.ct.us. 
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The Mission of DSABC is to Help Danbury Public School Students Achieve Personal and Academic Success.

Our Tool: School Based Mentoring

DSABC is a 501 (c) 3 Charitable Organization. Please consider supporting our mentoring and scholarship programs .

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