‘Happy tears:’ Ripple effect of mentor’s friendship continues for Danbury graduate


DANBURY – It’s not typical for the relationship between a volunteer mentor and a Danbury student to continue 10 years after high school graduation.

Then again, there’s nothing typical about the mentor-student relationship between volunteer Judy Coco and Jonathan Calderon, a 29-year-old construction manager who as a third grader had missed more school than he had attended when he was paired with Coco as his mentor.

“The challenge for us who are mentors is most of us will never know our impact,” said Coco, referring to the nonprofit Danbury Student and Business Connection, now in its 31st year. “That’s why it was so rewarding to know that Jonathan has become such a gentleman who has goals and is determined and wants to make a difference for others.”

When Calderon reached out to Coco recently to connect after they had not seen each other for two years, it was clear to Coco that the impact of their weekly meetings when Calderon was in school continued to ripple.


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