Category Archives: Category: Events

During the week of August 14-18, our incoming Shepherds Freshmen Class of 2027 attended another successful, educational and FUN Cougar Camp. Shepherds Freshmen met and bonded over a weeklong series of activities, presentations and assignments to become familiar with each other, the school and the culture at Kolbe Cathedral High School. Such activities included a scavenger hunt, parent/student Safe Environment training, the “RULER” presentation*, a math refresher exercise and making ice cream!

A special thank you to KCHS School Liaison, Cecilia Hatton, Faculty Advisor, Joe Elbertson for providing a successful program and a thank you to Seniors, Dannylo C. and Ali C. and Shepherds Sophomores, Tristan R. and Stefania F. for helping out and advising and guiding our incoming students.

*RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER supports school communities in understanding the value of emotions, building the skills of emotional intelligence and creating and maintaining positive school climates.


Shepherds/Kolbe Cathedral HS Faculty Advisor, Mr. Joe Elbertson teaches SEL with the RULER presentation


This past Saturday, the Shepherds/Kolbe Cathedral community enjoyed a wonderful buffet breakfast and celebrated the completion of Shepherds’ 24th year of Changing Lives… One Student at a Time. Nine members of the Shepherds Class of 2023 and their mentors traded speeches of appreciation and admiration. The graduating seniors all have plans to attend college in the fall with substantial scholarships and financial support to make it possible.




Shepherds students, mentors, families and staff celebrated the end of a successful school year at Notre Dame on Wednesday, April 26 in the Collins Auditorium at Notre Dame. For our Class of 2023 Seniors this celebratory dinner honored them, and their past accomplishments as well as their future endeavors. Congratulations to all and especially to the Class of 2023!


Our Shepherds groups from Kolbe Cathedral HS and Notre Dame HS, West Haven, headed to the Shelton Sports Center on March 29th for a neon-filled afternoon of arcade games and laser tag. Shepherds mentors and students showed their skills at pinball, the “claw” machine, car racing and more. Every mentor and student became a kid again which was made evident by the laughs and smiles on all of our Shepherds faces!


Shepherds Expressive Writing Workshop is underway for Freshmen and Sophomores. Presented by Ms. Nancy Day, Journalist, Professor & Chair of Journalism Department at Colombia College, Chicago and Ms. Allison Waggener, Yale University Graduate and Writing Coach, students got expressive and even active as they participated in exercises such as acting out expressive verbs and learned about the differences between “showing” v. “telling” a story in their writing.

Students have completed 3 out of the 5 Wednesdays that focus on “Expressing Yourself Effectively!”. Students will continue to develop techniques for distilling their ideas in writing in a clear and concise manner. They goal at the end of the workshop is for each student to effectively and expressively tell their personal story.


It was Shepherds Hockey Night at The Bridgeport Islanders Islanders last Sunday, 2/26!

Shepherds mentors and their students enjoyed a private tour of the Total Mortgage Arena and then the puck dropped at 5pm for the Islanders v. Phantoms. It was a 4-3 loss for the Islanders but a win for our group as they enjoyed exciting hockey, great food, fun music and a lot of fun! Nyasha, Mariela and Cindy even made it on the jumbotron!

The idea for creating a mentor oriented, financial support non-profit didn’t just descend from the clouds, although it could be called an inspired mission.

Barnet (Barney) Phillips, then a partner at firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LP, brought his insights and experience as a founding member of Student Sponsored Partners in NYC and along with many other like-minded friends in the local Connecticut community committed their time, networks, and importantly their resources to inaugurate a similar program in Fairfield County.

It’s hard to dimension the untold hours of nurturing care and dedication Barney and Sharon have given to perpetuating the Shepherds opportunity for an education and friendship to the young people in CT. From the early days as mentors themselves, recruiters of new mentors, fund raisers in the community to keep Shepherds going and growing.

On this evening, we seek to recognize and honor them for their inspired leadership, enduring commitment, and boundless generosity to a mission that needed to be undertaken 25 years ago, whose purpose persists today, and likely, tomorrow.

Thank you, Barney and Sharon,



Tim and Tracy Stuart
Honorary Chairs


Since 1998, Shepherds has been embarked on a mission to close the opportunity gap for underserved and under resourced young people in Connecticut’s inner cities.

In our first year, we served five students at Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport. In the intervening 25 years, over 350 Shepherds students have successfully graduated from high school and gone on to institutions of higher learning or to serve their community or our country in civil and military careers.


Today, over 60 students participate in our two partner schools and with our 25 th Anniversary Gala, Educate & Celebrate, we intend to build upon that success. Through the generosity ofdonors, sponsors, and guests at this event, we seek to raise the funds to support the next phase of Shepherds’ mission. Our goal is to raise $600,000 which will support thirty more Shepherds students over the next five years.


Your support of Shepherds’ work and this goal is greatly appreciated.