Q: What did one snowman say to the other snowman?
A: Do you smell carrots?
Contributed by Isabel Beers, age 11

Director's Message

Dear Friends of DSABC, 

January is National Mentoring Month. Created in 2002, National Mentoring Month (NMM) focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us-individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits-can work together to increase the number of mentors to assure brighter futures for our young people. 

 As a mentor and/or supporter of the DSABC mentor program, I'd like to thank you for your continued commitment to mentoring throughout the year. Below are some ideas on ways you can promote mentoring this month, either by activities or by simply posting one of the badges below on your email signature and/or social media pages. 

January 9, 2014 is I Am A Mentor Day. You can promote your commitment to mentoring by posting one of these badges on your email signature and/or social media pages. 

For Mentors:   

For Supporters:


DSABC Mentors, Making A Difference!  Happy Mentor Month...pass it on.


Mary Arconti Gregory



Well, maybe not all, but most kids like to tell a joke or two.  If your mentee, or child has a joke, we'd love to share it. Submit your contributions for future publications and be sure to include at least the first name and age, or grade of the child so we can give them credit. Thank you, Isabel, for our first contribution!

T. Vitale & B. Stauder

Elisabeth Booth-Barton




M&T Bank


Newtown Savings Bank


Pitney Bowes


Travelers Championship/Greater Hartford Community Foundation


UTC Aerospace


Tom Vitale


Pictured:  Thomas Vitale of M&T Bank presents a check to DSABC Chair Barbara Stauder.

Irving Amaral                   Stephanie Kennedy

Jacqueline Baker             Brandon Lewis

Alexis Barry                     Joy Moutsis

Sarah Bollert                    Garrett Pagel

Scott Caldwell                  Corey Pullen

Donna Cherniske              Stacy Thomas

Patrick Daly                      Serafim Tomas

Sean Geary                       Jacqueline Vollmer-Viera

Michael Gizzi                    Van Vu

Alicia Goncalves                Tom Wieckowski

Holly Hatfield                    Aimee Willenbrock   

 Keith Wolff    and    Farley Santos 
Here's what your mentees said they like or admire about you, their mentors. 
Happy Mentoring Month and keep up the good work!

"Having a mentor is like having a best friend come visit you every week. Someone who cares about you and takes the time to learn about you and understand you. My mentor has been not only my best friend, but my role model in many ways. She has helped me through many things and has always offered me the best advice. She meant a lot to me. I plan on keeping my friendship with her even after I graduate."

"She's nice, has manners and respects me."   
"She is caring and a good friend."
"An amazing person, so kind, helpful, good listener."
"She's very enthusiastic."
"How he inspires me to be the best."
"How respectful he is."                 "She's nice."
"He's really laid back and cool."
"She understands my problems when I talk to her."
"She is funny - we have lots in common."
"Happy all the time, nice, supportive."



Maria Altieri:  I work at Cartus as a Real Estate Specialist.  I have been mentoring for two years. I initially wanted to mentor to provide a young girl friendship.  I have found that the relationship is rewarding for me.  I am watching a young child evolving.  Serena is a precious child who needs someone consistent in her life and willing to be her friend.  I often wondered if I was effective in my mentoring.  The first year I received a thank you card after a couple months of visiting her that she made thanking me for being her best friend.  How precious is that.  This year she writes me a Valentine's card hoping that I enjoy visiting her at her school as much as she enjoys having me.  I may not always get immediate feedback until I get cards like the ones she made for me.  Serena is a very bright 9 year old but there is something sad in her eyes.  She brightens up when she sees me.  And that makes it all worthwhile. 


My name is Laki Triantafylidis and I work at Pitney Bowes in Danbury and am currently the RFP manager for our business unit in North America. I mentor at Ellsworth Elementary and will have been mentoring for 2 years at the end of this school year. When I first volunteered to be a mentor, I thought it would be a great way to help out in the community. The kids involved in the program are all wonderful and looking for someone they can count on. After meeting my mentee and working with him for the past 2 years, it's been immensely rewarding to see his progress and have him open up to me. The key is to build trust. Be sure to set proper expectations; if you can come every week - great, if not - no problem, just be sure that your mentee understands when they should expect to see you. The worst thing you can do is say you'll be there and not show up. Also don't be discouraged if it takes a while to earn their trust. Many of the mentees have been let down before, so it may take a few months or a year to earn their trust. It's worth it in the end, so just keep at it. 

Jay A. Holt:  I work for the Supply Chain at United Technologies. I also work for the Stats & Analysis Department at ESPN. This is my second year as a mentor. I initially became a mentor because I see a younger generation becoming well versed in all the wrong things. I'm working with a student at Rogers Park right now and at 27 years old, I'm young enough that I've had some of the very same teachers that my mentee has now. I can relate to the things he's going through because I wasn't in his shoes that long ago. That gives me the credibility I need to get him on track. He trusts my insight and seeks my advice on a weekly basis. I grew up in Danbury and want to give something back to the city that made me. We take for granted the racial amalgamation and wealth of opportunities here that automatically make you more well-rounded by the time you leave town for college. The kids here are already starting with an advantage and I just want to be a small nudge to keep things going in the right direction. I knew how powerful mentoring could be which is why I've taken it so seriously, but it's scary that once you've earned their trust and friendship they'll hang on your every word. In that sense, mentoring has made me a better man for forcing me to look in the mirror every day and choose to be the best version of myself  I can so I can present the right things to my mentee. My best advice to mentors old and new is to make sure with every piece of advice that you've stepped in your mentees shoes first. We mentors have already been 13 years old (for example), but we need to understand that our mentees have never been 13. We speak with the ease that's come with life experience. We can see our past but we need to keep in mind that our mentees can't see their future. They don't know that "things will be okay" or that "there's more fish in the sea," and "trust me on this" isn't enough sometimes. Think like a 13-year-old and you can better guide a 13-year-old! 

At a recent DSABC Board meeting, Praxair's Tamara Brown shows Board Members Jeff Troccolo and Rusty Beers how to play NBA Math Hoops, the board game Brown University graduate students developed to help youth learn math skills through fun.

Calendar Calendar Watch

January 9 - I Am A Mentor Day 

January 15- High School Mentor/Mentee Workshop: Financial Literacy
January 16 - Thank Your Mentor Day
January 20 - schools closed for Martin Luther King Day
January 21 - early dismissal
January 22-24 high school mid-term exams 
January 27-high school mid-term exams
February 14-  - early dismissal 
February 17-18 - President's Day recess, schools closed
February 19- High School Mentor/Mentee Workshop: Interviewing Skills 
February 25 - early dismissal
March 18 - early dismissal
Mentor Trainings: Please check DSABC website, www.dsabcmentors.org 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 kbheering@sbcglobal.net
Kathi Barese Heering, Editor

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