On Thursday evening, October 11th, Shepherds, a mentoring and scholarship non-profit based in Bridgeport, will celebrate 20 years of “changing students lives” with a gala at The Inn at Longshore in Westport. The evening will feature highly respected TV journalist and co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline, Byron Pitts, speaking on his inspiring life experience growing up in inner city Baltimore and overcoming the challenges of illiteracy and a speech impediment. NBC 4 New York Weatherman, Dave Price will be the Emcee and two of the Shepherd’s most experienced and dedicated mentors, Tammy Taylor of Darien and Greg Dillon of North Haven, will receive the prestigious Founder’s Award.

Byron Pitts has covered national news stories and in-depth features for ABC, reporting across the news division, including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “This Week” and “20/20.” He is a multiple Emmy award winning journalist and news veteran with over 20 years of experience and is known for his thoughtful storytelling, on-the-ground reporting and in-depth interviews. In addition, Pitts is the author of Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges and Be the One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship with Hope.

Shepherds supports inner-city teens from the New Haven and Bridgeport areas where the graduation rates from public high schools are significantly below their suburban peers. Shepherds empowers these students to build a foundation for their success by providing 4 year scholarships for a college preparatory education at Notre Dame West Haven High School and Kolbe Cathedral High School, academic and life skill programs, and the positive role model and support of a committed Shepherds mentor.

Results over 20 years have demonstrated that Shepherds students have a much higher likelihood of graduating from high school, pursuing higher education, breaking the cycle of poverty and becoming productive members of society. Two hundred sixty-five students who might otherwise have dropped out of high school have graduated and gone on to institutions of higher learning or to military or civil service roles.

Shepherds has been successful because of the loyal support and commitment of its many mentors and sponsors. This year’s recipients of the Shepherds’ Founder’s Award have mentored several students during their time with the organization.
Tammy Taylor has been a mentor since 2002 and is a longstanding Board member. She has served as Chair of the Mentoring Committee overseeing all mentoring activities including recruitment, training and support. Mr. Dillon has mentored 8 students through graduation from his alma mater, Notre Dame High School in West Haven. He will join Shepherds Board of Directors in recognition of his incredible support for the organization.

Would you like to change a life? Visit www.shepherdsmentors.org or call 203-367-4273 to purchase tickets to experience and celebrate Shepherds success at the Anniversary dinner or to learn more about Shepherds sponsorship and mentoring opportunities.