Tag Archives: Tag: Mentors

Long time partners, Shepherds and Notre Dame High School have teamed up once again to bring you a dynamic panel discussion sharing the ways mentoring can have a critical impact on youth in your community. To find out more about this event, including our guest panelists, please review our flyer.

To sign up for this free event, please fill out the contact information below. Please note: if accessing via mobile or tablet and you do not see “Submit” button, just hit “Enter” and your registration will be submitted and you will see a thank you screen.



giving back

This is NDWH ’11 Mike DeChello’s second time as a mentor. “A few years ago, my father’s friend, Mark Milano, reached out to me and told me about Shepherds and that mentors were needed,” said Mike.

That conversation with his father’s friend was an ah-ha moment for Mike, “After college, I realized that there was still an opportunity to help the community I love – Notre Dame.”

Jalanni was the first student he mentored. An outstanding Notre Dame basketball player, he attends Canisius College and plays on their basketball team. “I remain in touch with Jalanni. He is a good kid and really took advantage of the opportunities he was given.”

Now Mike mentors Alan L. (ND ’22). “I’m a strong advocate for his success. I’m encouraging him to pursue club activities and improve his grades while at ND. Alan is a great soccer player and I enjoy watching him play. We really also enjoy just hanging out.”

When Mike was told he was one of the youngest mentors Shepherds has had at Notre Dame, he was surprised. “Being a Shepherds mentor to an ND student is an enjoyable experience. It is the natural extension of what I learned at ND and a great way to make a direct impact on fellow ND brother.”

Executive Director of Shepherds, Dan McAuliffe agrees, “We need more men like Mike to mentor our Shepherds’ students at Notre Dame. We need five  mentors and sponsors for incoming Notre Dame freshmen that are a part of the Shepherds program.”

If you’re unable to participate as a mentor this year, the need is equally great financially to support the Shepherds program. To find out more about the role of mentoring a Shepherds student or how to support the program financially, email info@shepherdsmentors.org, or call Dan McAuliffe at 203-367-4273 or click the link below to find out more.

Join Mike DeChello in helping achieve Shepherds’ mission of Changing Lives…One Student at a Time., Notre Dame West Haven.

Ways You Can Help Shepherds Students

Mentor a student

It has been six years since Mark Healey and Celia Pinzi became mentors to NDWH ’18 student Reuben Clark. Shepherds spoke to Mark and Reuben recently to ask about how being in the Shepherds’ program impacted them.

It has been an absolute joy to watch Reuben change from a shy young freshman, to the accomplished college student, college football player and entrepreneur he is today,” stated Mark. “I got a lot more out of being Reuben’s mentor than I realized. Reuben and I still talk and get together. Recently, I reached out to him during the protests about social, racial and economic inequalities. I wanted him to know that Celia and I support him.

Reuben attends Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is currently taking three summer classes and has started up one e-commerce business selling jewelry, created a business that repairs cell phone screens and is in the process of rebranding a clothing line he created. “Mr. Mark really helped me with time management and taught me how to network,” claimed Reuben. “They are like family to me. I love them to death.”

When asked what they would tell a person who is considering becoming a mentor, both had similar answers. “If you want to help shape the life of a young man, become a pillar of support and create genuine change in his life, become a Shepherds mentor to a NDWH student,” said Reuben. Mark agreed, “It is so satisfying that I played a part in Reuben’s growth. It is amazing that a couple hours a month can have such an enormous impact on a young person.”

Shepherds needs five mentors for the upcoming freshman NDWH class. Join our team of caring mentors to make a positive impact on a Notre Dame man this Fall. To find out more, contact Dan McAuliffe at 203-367-4273 or info@shepherdsmentors.org.

Fred, mentor

Fred McMullen enjoyed the four years he mentored Alejandro, “The most gratifying part of my Shepherds experience was seeing the pride and confidence my student had when he started his college experience. We stay in touch and it has also been great to see him adapt to and thrive in a completely different environment. This gives me a lot of confidence that he is going to go on and make a difference wherever he charts his course.”

Shepherds students high school graduation rate for the last twenty years is 95%+, compared to their inner-city peers’ rate of 55-65%. Last year, 100% of our students went on to institutions of higher learning.

Fred found it rewarding to help impact a student’s life. You can experience that too! Shepherds is recruiting mentors for freshman beginning this fall. To find out more, go to www.shepherdsmentors.org. You can also contact Executive Director Dan McAuliffe at 203-367-4273 or info@shepherdsmentors.org




Jonathan is the embodiment of the Shepherds’ belief that education is the gift that keeps on giving – long after they graduate our program. He is a 2005 alumnus of Notre Dame West Haven High School and the Shepherds program. He has also given back to our program by becoming a mentor himself.

Jonathan continues to mentor in Charlotte, NC where he now lives via National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). NABA’s motto is ‘Lift as We Climb.’ “Being mentored opened up opportunities I did not know about or our family didn’t have the means to provide. I am continuing that tradition by mentoring young black accounting students,” claimed Jonathan.

Mentoring changes lives. You can too! Become a Shepherds mentor for a student in the freshman class beginning this fall. Contact Dan McAuliffe at info@shepherdsmentors.org or call 203-367-4273.

Student walking to school

“Too many young people are left in the lurch, wandering aimlessly in a professional wilderness. No one succeeds on their own. The myth of individual exceptionalism, that truly motivated people can pull themselves up by their boot straps, obscures how people really get ahead — with the assistance of others.”

A mentor provides both guidance and help for socio-economically and academically challenged high school students. The Shepherds program has a 20+ year track record of success. 95% of our students graduate compared their inner-city peers rate of 55-65%. Last year 100% of our students went on to college.

While Shepherds provides the opportunity for a college preparatory education, a mentor works hand in hand to provide the guidance for success.

Shepherds is recruiting mentors for the freshman entering our program this fall. Join us in making an impact on a young person’s life by becoming a mentor! Contact Dan McAuliffe at info@shepherdsmentors.org or call 203-367-4273.

Shepherds enjoyed hearing from a student alumnus at Shepherds Notre Dame Mentor Appreciation Night. Notre Dame West Haven ’14 alum, Jeenn Barreiro embraced the lessons he learned during his time as a Shepherds student at NDWHS.

After high school, he continued his education at College of the Holy Cross, graduating in 2018. Jeenn currently works at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a researcher and plans on attending graduate school in the fall.

While his academic and work successes make Shepherds proud, his impact on his community in Boston brings the lessons learned at Shepherds and NDWH full-circle. At our Mentor Appreciation Night, he spoke about how he is now a mentor himself. Jeenn mentoring and coaching a soccer team of refugees, undocumented and socio-economically challenged youths.

Shepherds is pleased to announce that we have recently been awarded three grants to support the Shepherds program.

  • Bedford Family Social Responsibility Fund via the Westport/Weston YMCA granted Shepherds $10,000 to expand our capacity and to serve and to help fund the three parts of the Shepherds program.
  • Inner City Foundation has provided Shepherds with $10,000 for the specific purpose of tuition support.
  • Henry E. Niles Foundation has given Shepherds $2,500 to support our student programming and mentoring support.

As our partner schools have started accepting applications for their fall 2020 freshmen classes, Shepherds needs to find mentors and sponsors for these deserving students. To find out more, contact Dan McAuliffe, info@shepherdsmentors.org.

January is National Mentoring Month and Shepherds is so thankful for all the mentors that assist our students.

Our mentors are kind-hearted adults who help bridge the opportunity gap our inner-city students have. A good mentor allows students to see the hope and possibilities within themselves. Becoming a Shepherds is a satisfying way to make a positive impact on a young person in your own backyard.

As the Chronicle of Evidence Based Mentoring states, mentoring is an opportunity not only for the student, but for the mentor as well.

To find out more about becoming a mentor at Shepherds, contact Executive Director Dan McAuliffe at info@shepherds.com or www.shepherdsmentors.org

Four Ways Mentoring Benefits the Mentor

The beginning of school is an exciting time for both mentors and Shepherds students. Last week at Notre Dame West Haven and Kolbe Cathedral High School, Shepherds freshman and their mentors met each other for the first time and had a celebratory meal with upper year students and their mentors. “It was like a family reunion,” claimed Executive Director Dan McAuliffe, “welcoming back our student and mentors and inviting new members into our Shepherds community.”

To see more photos, go to Shepherds’ Instagram.