One of the most important components of the Starfish Connection program is to provide a variety of enrichment experiences that gives our students the opportunity to experience the world.  With this comes a growing sense of confidence that positively impacts a child’s life!


Our Starfish 2023 Graduates

Alex and I first met when he was in the third grade. He wasn’t my mentee at the time, but we would get together with him and my student almost weekly. A few years later my mentee left the program, and his mentor left the area, and so I began working with Alex.

Alex was easy to mentor. He was always willing to participate in any Starfish activity, reached out to me when he was struggling and listened to any suggestion I made. I developed a nice relationship with him and his mom. Alex is a very quiet young man with wonderful values and appreciates all that life has to offer.

During his middle and high school years he was a volunteer at his church, played basketball and ran track at Westhill and prioritized his studies. He valued every opportunity that Starfish offered him. He is a wonderful young man and will be studying at UCONN in Storrs, Ct. I have no doubt that he will be a credit to his family, his community and to Starfish.

Alex Midy with his mentor Paola Mallozzi

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to express my gratitude as Sahara Salim’s Starfish Mentor. I know that Starfish will be proud to claim her as an alumna and for having guided her toward her goal as a medical professional. I have watched Sahara grow from a serious third grader to a bright, committed, passionate, and hardworking high school senior. Judy Martin recruited me with her infectious passion for this great program that she established with her husband former Mayor Martin.

Sahara knew she wanted to pursue a career in medicine when I met her in third grade and her love for the field of science has been demonstrated by her commitment to follow a pre-med major in college. Sahara has proved to be a caring, passionate, serious minded student and human being with many friends and a loving family. She has a great sense of humor and works beyond what is expected to solve problems. She was the Senior Class Student Government Secretary of her high school and was selected prom queen.

Sahara has made me proud and fortunate to have been part of her life as a mentor and a support to her family. We have become each other’s extended families in more ways than I can say! Deep appreciation goes to Starfish program, and the system it has put in place!

Sahara will attend UConn Stamford.

Sahara Salim with her mentor Mara Siladi

I am grateful to Starfish Connection for the opportunity to mentor Jonathan for the last ten years. When I first met Jonathan, while he was very enthusiastic about becoming a Starfish he was also very quiet. It was hard to keep a conversation going that didn’t involve me asking “20 questions.” To help Jonathan in this area, I would invite Kevin, his older brother who was also a Starfish to accompany us. Kevin is very easy to talk to and I soon found that I knew Kevin more than I knew Jonathan. So I told Jonathan that he could think of me as his grandmother–which really did change our relationship. Jonathan is like a grandson to me!

He has faced and conquered challenges and disappointments. When grades were an issue, he worked harder and brought them up all while finding time to assist at Mill River Consortium, playing baseball, and working at various part time jobs. He has learned how to advocate for himself and has developed into a competent and capable young man with a promising future. And we now have wonderful conversations! I am so proud of him! I am also grateful to his parents and to Kevin. They are a wonderful family and I am so happy they allowed me into their lives and to mentor Jonathan. He will attend Western CT State University.

Jonathan Sanchez with his mentor Fran D’Agostino

The mission of Starfish Connection is to address Stamford’s opportunity gap by providing long-term mentoring, after-school and summer enrichment programs, and educational support to promising students from the city’s underserved families. We pair a mentor with a student, one-on-one to provide these resources.

The Starfish Connection is a 501c3 corporation. We rely on generous contributions like yours to fulfill our mission. Your donation will be used to support after school and summer enrichment activities for these academically talented Stamford youth. If you would like to make a tax-deductible
donation to the Starfish Connection, please do so on our donation page!

Our Founder and Inspiration

The Starfish Connection website is dedicated to the memory of our cofounder, Judith Martin. Judy and her husband David had a dream of enriching and changing the lives of promising Stamford young people.