Summer Newsletter - June 2013

Director's Message
Dear Friends of DSABC,
As DSABC closes the final chapter of the 2012-13 school year, I want to extend my gratitude for the tremendous commitment shown by all of the individuals, companies, and schools that support the school-based mentoring program. The steadfast commitment shown by DSABC mentors during what has been of the most challenging of times has been outstanding. 
The events of this past year illustrate just how complex the world  our students are living in.  For example, the 2013 DSABC Scholarship recipients  were in 1st grade when 9/11 occurred. They are the beginning of the Generation Z, those individuals born between mid-1990-2010, the children filling the classrooms of K-12 educators. This group have the distinction of living in a world that has always had the internet making them smarter problem solvers, more accepting of diverse populations, and  more flexible in nature than previous generations. 

 Yet, these also are the children growing up in post 9/11 era...where the internet,

 technology, war, terrorism, economic collapse, the recession, social media, and increase in random events mass violence, such as what our community endured, shapes their lives on a daily basis.The influence of all of these factors effect them in ways that we, as supportive adults, don't always fully understand because we do not have a clear point of reference for most of what they are experiencing.  


It's forecasted that as this generation become adults, they will seek stability in response to growing up in an insecure world, will be smart with the ability to make decisions 

with a lot of data and with 65% of current grade school students working in jobs that don't

 exist today. As the current group of students we serve embark on uncharted waters, the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same, holds true in regards

to the contributions that mentors provide in making a difference in the life of a young person.The need for positive adult role models, a word of encouragement, non-

judgmental support and friendship, and most importantly, consistency in an ever changing world never go away.  As a matter of fact, our young people need the interpersonal connection that a mentor provides now more than ever!


 Wishing you all a very restful, safe, enjoyable Summer. 
Best Always,
Mary Arconti Gregory
 DSABC Director

SBD donation 
DSABC Receives grant from Savings Bank of Danbury Foundation
DSABC Director, Mary Gregory, receives a donation from
Kathleen Romagnano, President & CEO of Savings Bank of Danbury and Karen Hupchick, SBD employee/DSABC mentor. 


 DSABC Annual Scholarship & Appreciation Awards Breakfast
At our annual breakfast on May 16, twenty-seven mentors received Hall Of Fame Awards representing 180 years of mentoring and, lead by Student Speaker Yvonne Sanchez, eight graduating mentees were awarded scholarships to continue their education. 
Additionally, Roland Harmon of the Governors Prevention Partnership recognized the following DSABC participating companies as leading businesses within Connecticut supporting mentoring programs.
                                        Boehringer Ingelheim      Newtown Savings Bank

                                        Branson                         Praxair

                                        Cartus                           Savings Bank of Danbury



Our deepest appreciation for their continued support and leadership within our community.

BI & Kiniry
Hall of Fame Awards 

5 years


10 years

Lisa Antous

Robert Gauthier

Alex Gankos

Tom Arconti

David Gillespie

Susan Westrell

Maria Bahia

Momodou Jallow


Silvia Borges-Bostic

Karen Ledan

15 years

Judith Brown

Bruce MacGregor

Maria Guariglia

James Cavaliere

Robert Mitten

Patty DelVecchio

Chip Daly

Joan Saplio


Ed Dayton

Cathy Sauli

20 years

Richard DeLillo

Tom Vitale

Carolyn O'Boyle

John Edmond

Keith Wolff


Darlene Garrison

Krystyna Zieba


 Alyssa and Pat    
Scholarship Awards
"Having a mentor for 6 years has impacted my life in a great way. Darlene means a lot to me and she is a very great friend. She has helped me so much."   Yvonne Sanchez  


StudentCollege plansMentorYrs together
Irsy Espinal - DHS Kurt Schlemmer
Jamal Espinal - DHSNVCCMaria Guariglia
Alyssa Garica - DHS CCSUPat Schulze
Ian Knight - DHS Jay Geib
Leslie Orellana - DHSLincoln TechKaren Hupchick
Aaron Plude - HATSNVCCPatt Gallichotte
Yvonne Sanchez - DHSNVCCDarlene Castrovinci
Samantha Theodare - DHSWCSULisa Donovan


We recently asked mentors to share their stories; who they are, why they mentor, what motivates them to stay with it, and what insights they've learned.  We began receiving feedback Immediately after the email went out!  Many thanks to everyone who responded.  We'll get to sharing all of your stories over the next few issues; here are four.


First Year

Maryellen Deschamps:

I have only been mentoring for about 8 months and I can't say how much Kathy has filled my life.  I came to Branson in 2011 and felt that I needed a void filled in my life.  God has never granted me any children and I am going on 60 this year and felt - what a way to make a difference in someone's life and MINE! There is nothing like the feeling you get when you are having a bad day, bad week or even a stressful moment -- but as soon as you enter the school and your little mentee looks up at you with those innocent eyes -- it makes everything else seem so unimportant. I thank the Great Plain School and the Danbury School system for making my life a much happier place!!!


The Second-generation

Madeline Wilczewski:

I work at UTC Aerospace Systems where I'm a Quality Engineer.  This is my first year mentoring and I became a mentor because my mom has been (and still is) a mentor for over 20 years.  Seeing how many lives she changed inspired me to join this amazing program!  Listening to success stories from other mentors about how they've connected with their students has been a huge help for me during my first year.


My name is Chip Abbott and I have been mentoring at Pembroke Elementary for almost 3 years. I am a lifetime resident of Brookfield where I reside with my family.  I am employed as a private pilot for a family based in Greenwich and I fly them all over the world. My schedule lends itself perfectly for mentoring as I have ample time off during the week.  Mentoring is rewarding to me in many ways.  To see a child smile when you come to school and to become friends with many of the kids there is wonderful.  For both of us to look forward to the next visit is priceless.  I truly believe that mentors make a difference in the life of a child and certainly my mentee has made a difference in mine.  My mom, who passed away ten years ago, was a mentor for years and spoke of its rewards often.  I got involved partly in her memory and have enjoyed every moment.  I would encourage anyone to get involved in mentoring, as its benefits go both ways.


Seasoned Pro

T., IT Professional:

I have been mentoring for 17 years. When my nephew was in school, he would call me to help him with his homework specifically for math and science.  I was talking to the liaison of my company about this and she thought I would be a great mentor.  I keep coming back because I love the experience, seeing the kids grow up, and want to be there for them as a friend and a sounding board, it keeps me young!

I have had a few mentees over the years.  The first student I had, I really did not think I was making a difference until she was making sure I came back next year.  The next couple of students I had, they told me the only reason they have stayed with the program was because of me; that I am "cool" to hang out with and understand how they feel and what they are going through.  As it turned out I was just not mentoring them, I was also mentoring their friends too when I came into the school.  I have learned from them as they have learned from me.  My advice is that not every person is the same and there is a reason why you meet each other whether it is for a short period of time or a long period of time.  You may have a bad experience with one student, but the next student you have may be the best experience.  The kids in the program are there for a reason and they need you to be there for them as a stable part of their life; someone they can trust, talk to and help them get through their day even if it is just one hour a week.

Back-to-school Calendar Watch


August 27 - Danbury Public Schools back in session

September 13 - DSABC mentor assignments confirmed

September 16-28 - Mentoring resumes



Mentor Trainings: Please check DSABC website, for dates and times.



Got news?  Share it!
Have a story about mentoring?  Maybe a challenge, a success, or even a question?  We want your input for future newsletters.  Email contributions to
Kathi Barese Heering, Editor

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