Director's Message
Dear Friends of DSABC,

As DSABC closes the final chapter of the 2015-16 school year, I extend my gratitude for the incredible commitment shown by all of the individuals, companies, and schools that support the school-based mentoring program. This year has marked a milestone for me personally as I've celebrated my 10-year anniversary as the Director of DSABC. Time certainly does fly when you're having fun...and this past decade has been just that! It is my sincerest privilege to work with a wide array of tremendously committed individuals. I've learned and grown, both professionally and personally, from each and every one of the hundreds of unique mentoring relationships over the years. I look forward to continuing our work in the  2016-17 school year. 
During the 2015-16 school year, DSABC began implementation of its three-year strategic plan which was developed last year, our 25th Anniversary. The DSABC Board assessed our organization's success as well as current challenges and developed a plan to ensure that we adjust to the relevant needs of the constituents we serve. One component of our strategic plan is to create partnerships by expanding mentoring program models to increase the reach and scope of students served with particular focus at the high school level. This has led us to a few exciting new collaborations this year.
The first is the Danbury Early College Opportunity Workplace E-Mentoring Program. The Early College Opportunity is a comprehensive initiative designed to provide Danbury High School students the opportunity to earn an Associate's Degree from Naugatuck Valley Community College along with their high school diploma while developing the skills to excel in the fields of computer information systems, or business analysis. Participating students are required to take the Workplace Learning Class where the soft skills of work and business are taught in preparation for the students to be fully prepared when entering internships and the workforce. Via an online platform, mentors provide guidance and advice on developing workplace skills by engaging in weekly activities based upon the curriculum the students are learning. In addition to the weekly online interactions, the students and mentors meet face to face in a group setting four times per year. This year's first Cohort saw 83 mentors supporting 97 students. Next fall, DECO plans on welcoming its second Cohort of an additional 100 students. This is a fantastic opportunity for companies to engage their employees in volunteer efforts to help develop the future workforce and for mentors to work with high school youth on a flexible basis. 

Another exciting initiative DSABC has had the opportunity to collaborate on is a college student peer mentoring program designed by Western CT State University Social Work students. As part of their senior project, the students developed the Peer Up Mentoring Program whereby WCSU students will serve as mentors to high school students, providing the same type of one-on-one positive relationship as DSABC's core program. The Peer Up Mentoring Program will be piloted next school year at ACE. 

In addition to expansion of mentoring programs, DSABC is transitioning program management to a cloud-based software database system, MentorCore. Mentors will have the ability to log information about their mentoring sessions as they occur which will provide school liaisons, DSABC, and mentors real time assessment and support for matches. DSABC has been able to implement MentorCore, in part, due to a technical assistance grant provided by Governors Prevention Partnership in response to DSABC's participation in the Quality Mentoring Assessment Path research project. DSABC has been nationally recognized as a program of highest quality adherence. We strive to continuously improve our programs to provide the best support and outcomes for youth. More information and mentor training on MentorCore will be forthcoming in late August. 
Finally, calling all mentors!!  If you haven't had a chance to complete the year end Mentor Survey, please take a few moments to do so by clicking here: 

Thank you!!  Wishing you all a wonderful, relaxing summer!  

Mary Arconti Gregory
DSABC Director



At the annual breakfast on May 19, DSABC awarded seven scholarships to graduating mentees and recognized twenty-four mentors with service awards.  Congratulations and thank you!


2016 DSABC Annual Scholarship and Awards Breakfast Photo Gallery  Photography services and images provided and donated by Danbury High School photography student, Gabby Perriera. Many thanks to Gabby and Mr. Mike Obre, Art Department Head 


Graduating from





Jason Veach

Leydi Rosario

Danbury High School

Danbury High School

Barbara Cousins

Darlene Castrovinci

Janelle Herrera

Danbury High School

Susan Gankos

Anderson Smith
Danbury High School
Robin Shepard

Angelo Muzzillo

Danbury High School

Lisa Antous

Jerry Rosario

Danbury High School

Brian Applebee

Genesis Medina

Alternative Center of Excellence

Janice Thomas

Lorsy Azcona
Henry Abbott Technical High School
Maria Fernandes

Lorsy Azcona and Maria Fernandes
Art Summo and Dylan Saunders
25 Years
20 Years
15 Years
Stephanie Ansel
Linda Anderson
Pat Schulze
Roseanne Mancini
Kathi Barese Heering
Sally Conroy
Tara Walitynski
10 Years
5 Years
Barbara Cousins
Elizabeth Hirsch
Maria Altieri
Farley Santos
Nina Deyglun
Karen Hupchick
Ken Decker
Jeffrey Troccolo
Maria Fernandes
Denise Kammer
Rita Elkhoury
Steven Williams
Susan Gankos
Robert Marcus
Karen Henderson
Jan Winkowski
Adedayo Hanidu
Kerry O'Mahoney

Thank-you to these DSABC Board Members whose terms are ending:
Barbara Stauder, 6 years; Jeff Troccolo, 4 years; and Stephanie Ansel, 6 years.
We welcome new Board Members:
Robert Port, Mentor, IBM (retired) and Jen Tomaino, Mentor, Union Savings Bank.

Congratulations to our new Officers:
  Michael Ferguson, Chair             Kristin Goncalves, Vice-Chair
 Farley Santos, Treasurer             Steve Gagnon, Secretary
And many thanks to our out-going Officers;   Doug Orr, Chair and Jeff Troccolo, Vice-Chair.

Michael Cunningham and Bob Port

New for 2016, The Governors Prevention Partnership/CT Mentoring Partnership established the Mentee of the Year Award. Youth participating in mentoring programs throughout Connecticut were asked to submit an essay of 500 words or less on what mentoring in real life means to them. DSABC Mentee, Michael Cunningham's essay was selected as the winner. Michael, an 8th-grader at Westside Middle School, and his mentor, Bob Port have been matched for two years and look forward to continuing their relationship as Michael heads off to high school in the Fall.  The following is an excerpt from Michael's essay.
I have had a mentor for two years. Mr. Robert Port's influence in my life has been invaluable. Bob and I have lunch every Thursday. We talk about sports, family and life in general. Because he has two daughters Bob always says how much he enjoys our talks about our favorite hockey team, the Rangers. While we talk about sports he relates our talks to things that are important in life such as hard work, dedication, commitment and time management. He teaches me to be proactive not only in sports but in my studies as well. In sports he encourages me to speak to my coach about my strengths and weaknesses and how I can improve while being a team player. In school Bob tells me to approach my teachers whenever I have a question, to hand in assignments on time and to ask for extra help whenever needed. Bob used to be a math tutor. Math is a hard subject for me and he always tells me to bring any questions to him. Bob always asks about school and my family. He is interested in me and encourages me to always do my best. Bob seems to enjoy our time together as much as I do.Sometimes he shows me magic tricks and we laugh about so many things, he has also shows me how to play chess.
When I was first recommended for the program I was hoping for a young man. After meeting Bob and spending a few days with him I quickly knew this was the right person for me.
I have had many disappointments in my life but Bob has always been someone  on whom I can depend. He is reliable, trustworthy, caring and thoughtful, a strong role model. Although life can be very hard he always help me to look at the bright side.  He lets me know these hard times will not last forever.  Bob has told me it is not what happens to me but how I handle it that is the important thing in life. He will always be a part of my life because wherever I go and whomever I meet the support, guidance and life's lessons he has taught me will stay with me always,  As I grow up I will always remember the difference Bob has made in my life. In his honor I hope someday to be able to make a difference in someone else's life.  
One-on-One Mentoring and DECO Workplace Learning E-Mentoring Programs need YOU!
DSABC One-on-One Mentor Program :
Approximately 100 new mentors needed to meet the requests. Most requests are for mentors in upper elementary & middle school.
A school based program that matches a supportive and caring adult who assists students to succeed in school by developing a one on one relationship.  Mentors serve as a positive adult role model providing moral support and encouragement. One-on-One Mentors meet with their mentee weekly at the student's school throughout the duration of the school year. A one school year commitment is required, however, most mentors continue in long term relationships with their mentee.
WorkPlace Learning E-Mentoring Program:
Approximately 90 new mentors needed for the 2016-17 cohort.
Mentors interact with Danbury High School students participating in the Early College Opportunity Program. Via an online platform, mentors provide guidance and advice on developing workplace skills by engaging in activities aligned with the Workplace Learning Class curriculum. Mentors meet with their mentees in group setting up to 4 times per year.


August 29 - First day of school

September 20 - All mentoring resumed

MENTOR TRAINING  smiling-computer-ladies.jpg

Is your mentee moving up to middle or high school? Not sure what to expect during this transition? Click here to view DSABC recent webinar: 


Mentoring in Middle & High School: What to Expect When Your Mentee Transitions

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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.