Mary Director's Message
Dear Friends of DSABC,

With the 2014-15 school year coming to a close, I'd like to thank everyone who has made DSABC's 25th Anniversary Year a success. It is only through the phenomenal support of the business and school communities these many years that DSABC has been able to provide Danbury Public School students with positive one-on-one mentoring relationships resulting in outstanding outcomes for the youth served.  Since DSABC began in 1990, we have  supported approximately 1,250 mentor/mentee matches and presented 174 scholarships totaling $243,000

When thinking about how to best celebrate DSABC's 25 th Anniversary, we always came back to the theme of our tag line, "Mentoring Making a Difference". We know the impact DSABC mentors have in supporting current students, especially with our scholarship recipients. However, we thought it would be great if we somehow could know the lasting difference DSABC mentoring has made once our graduates venture out into adulthood.  In an attempt to seek out past mentees, we enlisted the help of volunteers to "reach out" to participants via social media, personal letter and emailed surveys. The feedback we received was truly amazing. Some of what we learned is that our past mentees went on to have careers in teaching (2 at DHS), as firefighters, nurses, entrepreneurs, ministers, and engineers, just to list a few.  However, more importantly than the jobs they went on to have are the ways mentors influenced them as adults.   I'd like to share one of the many emails I received. 

From Chaka Oliver, 1999 graduate, Mentored by Joseph Cerino:

"My memory of Joe is that he was an unusually smart and hard-working man who had an awesome career and a family.  I'm ten times as grateful for him now then I was then.  He gave good advice and I ignored a lot of it, but I pass it on now; and remember that I was once the same kind of teenager that I run into today.  When I became a parent sophomore year of H.S., he gave me the summer job that got me the car that got the baby to a sitter, and me through high school (My wife and I have a home in Dallas, GA and we're doing OK.  The child we had in high school is 17 and we have two younger daughters 9 and 3)

As far as people in my life at the time who were willing and able to do something like that for me, he was 'it'; and he delivered.  Reflecting on it all reminds me that great communities are created by the selflessness of the people in it.  I try to live that the best that I can.

I think the organization you represent is awesome and I appreciate what you all are doing for the youth up there.  I'm sure every person out there that ever had a mentor of any type remembers something, appreciates it and finds a way to pay it forward.  It wouldn't be happening up there in Danbury over the last 25 without you all."


My hope is for every DSABC mentor to take this summer to reflect on Chaka's words and to find encouragement in them. Mentoring certainly can be a challenging endeavor at times, with many ups and downs. The benefits may not be obvious in the moment, but know that you truly are making a positive difference in the lives you touch. 

Wishing you all a wonderful, relaxing summer!  




Mary Arconti Gregory
DSABC Director



At the annual breakfast on May 14, DSABC awarded five scholarships to graduating mentees and recognized thirty-three mentors with service awards.  Congratulations and thank you!


To view photos of the 2015 DSABC Annual Scholarship and Awards Breakfast, click here 


Graduating from





Kyle McGran

Alternative Center of Excellence

Doug Orr

Jay Bartimoccia

Danbury High School

TJ Wiedl

Kenny Peralta

Danbury High School

William Austin

Dylan McIlveen

Henry Abbott Technical High School

Farley Santos

Tijana Watson

Alternative Center of Excellence

Sharon Cross


DSABC Mentor Judy Mangan receiving her

25-year Service Award.

DSABC would like to thank Judy for her outstanding commitment to mentoring! 

25 Years

20 Years

15 Years

10 Years

Judy Mangan

Seth Graff

James Bates

Sanaa Almarayati


Larry Post

Darlene Castrovinci

Kevin Kearns



Greg Metzger

Joan Pollack



Elena Patton

Christine Reisel



Carla Pierce


5 Years


Chip Abbott

Tim Kielbon

Karen Russo


Marilyn Cabrera

James Koryan

Anne Sorrells


Leica de Belen

Claudia Menezes

Frank St. Amand


Tom Harrison

Doug Orr

Vivian Taylor


Jay Holt

Rupa Pandya

Christopher Tiberio


Dawn Immohr

Judith Post

Manish Soni


Geraldine Jove

Rose Romero

Carl Zinn



Jonaya Peterson, past scholarship recipient
      Having a mentor has been one of the best experiences of my life. My mentor has taught me many lessons and I have taken great direction with her guidance. She is such a positive role model always believing in me and pushing me to be the best I can be. Throughout the years not only has my mentor been a good friend to me she has also been there for me through good and bad. It means a lot to have someone to talk to when I'm down and someone who's around when I'm happy. The most meaningful moments were the times spent doing fun activities together. As an adult having a mentor has influenced me because she has instilled in me to be a strong, independent woman. She has encouraged me to strive for greatness and that is what motivated me today to go to college and receive a higher education. I am proud to have received an Associates Degree and hope to continue to follow my dreams and aspirations. To this day my mentor and I are still in each other's lives and I am forever thankful to be given the opportunity of having one.


JoAnn Drury, mentor

     I'm writing this to let all new mentors realize that you even though you may not think you are making a difference you are.  It won't be right away or in any big way but in something small.   "Pay it Forward." We say this frequently but there is no saying that comes closer to explaining mentoring.  I met Jonaya when she was seven and is now twenty-five.  We still keep in touch as best we can and she is both beautiful inside and out. The first day we met I knew there was a connection. When Jonaya was in junior high and high school she went through a difficult time at home and one day when I met her for one of our meetings I told her that I missed her.  She was very upset that I said that and couldn't understand why people in general use that expression.  She was in different homes at the time and she felt that you don't say "miss" you since we see each other again.  Although she never said it I told her I missed her every time we met for the next five years to remind her that people do care and miss each other.  I called her the other day to remind her of the mentor breakfast and at the end of the call I said, "Miss you" and she replied CLEARLY, "Miss you too".  These are just a few little words which may not mean that much to you but a lot to me.  I feel I made a difference and I am very proud of who she has become. 

This past April, Jim was inducted into the Governors Prevention Partnership's "Mentoring Hall of Fame" for his outstanding leadership in mentoring. 


Jim Moretti (center) receiving Mentor Hall of Fame Award from Roland Harmond (left) and Jill Spinetti (right) of the Governor's Prevention Partnership. 

MENTOR TRAINING  smiling-computer-ladies.jpg

Don't forget! All DSABC webinars are archived on the website,, for viewing anytime. 


June 17 - DHS graduation

June 22 - HATS graduation

July 1 - Mentor Survey Closes  Click here to take survey


August 24- Back to School


For the most current information, consult the school calendar

Danbury Public Schools: 


Henry Abbott Tech: 

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.  Email contributions to
Kathi Barese Heering, Editor




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 programs.