Director's Message
Dear Friends of DSABC,

Happy New Year!  We're glad to be back after the holidays and are now half way through the school year. This time of year is when many mentors will see a lot of growth in their mentees both socially and academically as well as in their mentoring relationships.  As the new calendar year is upon us, we are also taking this time to assess the organizational goals set in August. As part of our three-year strategic plan, one of our goals in addition to continuing to grow our mentor base in our core one-on-one mentoring program, is to expand our partnerships in mentoring programs, specifically serving high school students. To that end, this fall DSABC entered into a partnership with  Danbury Early College Opportunity (DECO) Program at Danbury High School which is a comprehensive initiative designed to provide participating students with opportunities to prepare for post-secondary education and career readiness. DECO has adopted eMentoring by pairing students enrolled in the program with an industry mentor. Correspondence between mentors and mentees occur regularly through an electronic platform to provide support and guidance on the topics presented in the DECO WorkPlace Learning class. We are excited to collaborate with Danbury High School on this innovative educational initiative.

This January will mark the 15th annual National Mentoring Month sponsored by MENTOR and Danbury Schools and Business Collaborative. DSABC is participating in this campaign aimed at expanding quality mentoring opportunities to connect more of Danbury's students with positive adult role models. Concurrently with National Mentoring Month, MENTOR will be launching a longer-term public awareness and recruitment campaign called In Real Life. In Real Life focuses on the real-life benefits of mentoring to young people and their mentors. DSABC is supporting this theme, which provides us an opportunity to talk about the real-life benefits of mentoring, by encouraging our mentors and mentees to share their stories. 

DSABC's one-on-one Mentor program has produced countless "in real life" stories of success over the past 26 years and now that we are expanding our programming to include Workplace Learning e-mentoring, we are continually seeking new volunteers as well as business partnerships in the greater Danbury area.  National Mentoring Month is an ideal opportunity to let business leaders know that they can help strengthen our community through mentoring.

Research has shown that when matched through a quality mentoring program, like DSABC, mentors can play a powerful role in providing young people with the tools they need to make responsible decisions, stay focused and be more engaged in school.  This same report found that one in three young people in our country will grow up without a mentor.  Today, in the Danbury area there are roughly 100 students on our waiting list who could benefit from having a DSABC mentor.

As we focus on engaging more community members in volunteering as mentors, we will share a simple message:  The wonderful thing about mentoring is that you are already equipped to be a great mentor. You bring to the table something unique that these students do not have in their lives ... the ability to be their friend.

Mary Arconti Gregory
DSABC Director
  • January 14, 2016: "I Am a Mentor Day" 
  • January 18, 2016: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 
  • January 21, 2016: "Thank Your Mentor Day"  
  • January 28, 2016: DSABC Thank You Luncheon & Workshop
For more information on National Mentoring Month:
DSABC Liaison to City of Danbury&mentor, Robin Shepard (L) pictured here with mentor Karen Ledan(R) at a recent recruitment event.
Mentors - the best recruitment tool

On November 18th, City of Danbury business liaison to DSABC, Robin Shepard, hosted a successful mentor recruitment event with a dozen City of Danbury employees in attendance. Attendees enjoyed refreshments while learning more about becoming a DSABC mentor with a presentation by Director, Mary Gregory. City of Danbury mentors, Robin Shepard, Karen Ledan, and Lisa Antous each shared their personal experiences and mentoring stories. Mayor Mark Boughton also greeted prospective mentors and endorsed participation in mentoring programs. Many thanks to Robin for organizing this event which to date has resulted in 6 new mentors!

Welcome New Mentors

Thank you for helping to make a difference in the life of a child!

Kimberly Abreau, Independent
Robert Barone, City of Danbury
Uma Bhan, Independent
Jeffrey Dunkerton, City of Danbury
Cheryl Edelen, Independent
Kylie Fogarty, Boehringer Ingelheim
Ryan Howely, City of Danbury
Denise Janey, City of Danbury
Pamela Mazzarella, United Technologies Aerospace
Jame McKamy, United Technologies Aerospace
Dawn Needleman, Comcast
Otty Perez, Independent
Erika Reichard-Lawton, Cartus
Michael Russotti, City of Danbury
Frank Sbertoli, Independent
Laura Simonson, Independent
Lindsay Skurnick, Cartus
Ted Timmel, Independent
Charles Wisniewski, Independent
YoungSun Yang, Boehringer Ingelheim

Susan Gankos and Alex Gankos; both United Technologies Aerospace employees and DSABC Mentors
Mentor Reflections: Susan Gankos, DSABC Mentor 10 Years, United Technologies Aerospace

I began mentoring Janelle when she was in 3rd grade.  At that time, all she wanted to do was shoot baskets in the gym or play 4-square on the playground.  She wasn't a big talker back then, but seemed glad to see me each week.  Middle school years were a little tougher, she didn't seem as interested but we both hung in there.  Now Janelle is a senior at DHS and on track to graduate this June.  She has grown into such a mature, articulate, responsible and caring young lady.  She loves to talk, is interested in my opinion and thoughts, and is genuinely disappointed when I can't make it.  I hope over the years I have offered some good advice and have helped her make some good choices.  But I have gotten just as much out of mentoring as she has, maybe more.  It isn't always easy to leave work, even for an hour (as you can tell as I post this email at 10:30 p.m.), but I am always glad when I do.  It helps me put things in perspective.  Mentoring has been such a rewarding experience for me. I have a quote in my office, by Margaret Mead, that I think couldn't be more true:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has"
DSABC is just that!
Students of the Danbury High School Early College Opportunity Program meeting and interacting with their WorkPlace e-Mentors. This was the first of 3 meetings scheduled for the year.
Danbury Early College Opportunity (DECO) WorkPlace Mentor/Mentee "Meet & Greet"
DECO Workplace Mentors & students enjoying their time engaged in activities.

DECO Director, Sarah Roy, leading activities at November 5th Mentor/Mentee Meet &Greet

DHS student, Ke'Shown Brown with his mentor of 10 years, Sanaa Almarayti. The pair were featured in the January issue of King Street Living Magazine.
DSABC in the News

Many thanks to Mike Kaltschne, Publisher of King Street Living Magazine, for choosing DSABC to be highlighted as the publications "Non-Profit of the Month" for January. Also, thank you to the mentors and student who agree to be interviewed for the article; Sanaa Almarayti, Ke'Shown Brown, Alex Gankos, Sue Gankos.

Thank you for your support

Corporate Donors:                        Individual Donors:

       Branson Ultrasonics                    Elisabeth Booth Barton

Pitney Bowes                                Rick Hoddinott

GE                                                   Barbara Stauder 

Initiated in 2014 by Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Giving Day encourages individuals, families, companies, clubs and groups to "give where you live" and support Fairfield County nonprofits.

DSABC's goal for the 2016 Giving Day is to raise $10,000, which will provide 5 students with scholarship gifts.  Mark your calendar for March 10th to help us reach our goal.
Mentor Trainings  smiling-computer-ladies.jpg

When: J anuary 28, 2016
Time: 12:00-1:30 pm
Where: Cartus, 40 Apple Ridge Rd.

Workshop & Mentor Month  Thank You Luncheon
"Ways Men
tors Can Build Assets"; Presented by Allison Fulton, Executive Director of HVCASA 

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


DSABC Board members, Nelson Merchan and Barbara Stauder presenting feedback from recent Board workshop
 Branson Ultrasonics business liaison and DSABC Board Member, Ed Dayton participating in workshop activity
Director,Mary Gregory and Board members,Nelson Merchan and Barbara Stauder participating in workshop activities. Kristin Goncalves of Ridgefield Boys&Girls Club facilitated a presentation on performance outcomes.
Calendar Watch
Jan. 14 - I Am A Mentor Day
Jan. 18   - Schools closed; Martin Luther King Day
Jan. 21 - Thank Your Mentor Day
              - DECO Mentor/Mentee Meet & Greet @ WCSU
Jan. 28 - DSABC Thank-you Luncheon & Workshop
Feb. 12 - Webinar
Feb. 15, 16 - Schools closed; Presidents' Day recess
Mar. 10 - FC Gives
Mar. 25 - Schools closed; Good Friday
Note: Standardized tests will be administered in March. School liaisons will notify mentors of schedule.
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.