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“Danbury did what Danbury does: recognized a challenge and recognized a need,” Mourning said. When he looks back on his humble beginnings, he said the outcome was an unlikely one, but for the mentoring program. Mourning first met his mentor, Herman Izzard, while a student at Hayestown Avenue School.
“I was the kid . . . you know the trucks that make frequent turns, they know where the construction site is, but they keep turning? I was that kid,” Mourning said. “Things would be going along smoothly, and then I’d make frequent turns – and then a hard left.”
He said it was during this time that he struggled with reading simple words, but soon learned the most important word: “time,” because it translated to “caring.” Mourning said he realized that in order to show up and spend time with a kid who needed so much guidance, Izzard must have really cared about him. And that made the biggest difference in Mourning’s life.
“When people don’t give up because of frequent turns, it’s the most important thing,” Mourning said. However, the DHS graduate didn’t urge the audience to become mentors. “But, if you do, you won’t regret dedicating a moment of time spent on that child.”