Danbury Collective Impact

About the Danbury Collective

The Danbury Collective is a cradle-to-career collective impact, community-led initiative dedicated to ensuring that all children and families in Danbury have full and equal access to opportunities to be successful in life. It is a network of community members, organizations, and institutions who advance equity by learning together, aligning, and integrating their actions to achieve population and systems level change. It is a movement of people impacted by and impacting a challenge who share power, trust, resources, and effort to achieve a common purpose. Collective work contributes to building and sustaining the civic infrastructure necessary to improve outcomes and close gaps from cradle to career. The Danbury Collective has convened a diverse group of community members, parents, nonprofits, school leadership, and municipal leadership to explore the systems and processes that benefit the children and families of the Danbury community and have looked at data to guide the undertaking of key initiatives to support the growth and development of Danbury’s children. The work of the Danbury Collective will be based on listening to student, parent, and community voices to determine the root causes of differences in opportunities enabling all to thrive and become successful by removing conditions adversely affecting educational equity.

United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut serves as the backbone fiduciary of the Danbury Collective, providing funding, fiduciary services, managing back-office operations, and supporting strategic success through thought partnership and collaboration.

To express commitment to the Danbury Collective, you may view and sign our Membership Agreement HERE (En español & Em português).


Collective Impact is an approach to achieve system change through the collaboration of community members, organizations, and institutions. The five principles of Collective Impact are:

  1. Common Agenda
  2. Shared Measurement
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities
  4. Continuous Communication
  5. Backbone Support

The Danbury Collective is aiming to join StriveTogether, a national nonprofit network comprising around 70 collective impact movements. StriveTogether offers a collective impact approach and a well-regarded Theory of Action, emphasizing four key pillars: a Shared Community Vision, Evidence-Based Decision Making, Collaborative Action, and Investment Sustainability. This affiliation seeks to enhance the collective impact efforts of the Danbury Collective through the adoption of these proven principles. To learn more about Collective Impact and StriveTogether, visit their website at www.strivetogether.org.


Melissa Hannequin, Executive Director 


Advisory Council Leadership 

Co-Chairs: Katie Curran & Kara Prunty 

Vice Chair: Grace Molina 

Danbury Parent Representatives, Danbury Community 

Chairs, Working Groups, Danbury Collective  

Superintendent, Danbury Public Schools 

Board of Education Chair or Proxy, Danbury Public Schools/City of Danbury 

Mayor or Proxy, City of Danbury 

President & CEO, United Way of Coastal and Western CT (Backbone) 

President & CEO, CT Institute for Communities 

Executive Director, Community Action Agency of Western CT 

Outreach Director, Danbury Public Library 

Director of Health & Human Services, Danbury Dept. of Public Health 

Director Family, School & Community Partnerships, Danbury Public Schools 

Educators & Current Teacher and Building Leader, Danbury Public Schools 

Executive Director, Danbury Collective 

Working Groups 

Chronic Absenteeism and Learner Engagement 

Co-Chairs: Anne Mead & Yazin Shilleh 

Early Childhood Education 

Co-Chairs: Laury Barruos & Liz Quinonez 

Youth Mental Health 

Co-Chairs: Fernanda Carvalho & Robyn Hoffman 



  • Brave Enough to Fall

  • City of Danbury Health & Human Services 

  • City of Danbury Mayor's Office

  • Civility Home Care

  • CJR

  • Community Action Agency of Western CT 

  • Connecticut Institute for Communities, Inc (CIFC) 

  • Cora's Kids

  • DanburyWORKS

  • Danbury Public Library 

  • Danbury Public Schools 

  • Danbury Public Schools – Citywide PTO 

  • Danbury School Readiness Council 

  • Danbury Student and Business Connection (DSABC)

  • Danbury Youth Services

  • EdAdvance 

  • Families Network of Western CT, Inc. 

  • Family & Children's Aid

  • Family Resource Center Morris Street School 

  • FutureScript

  • MCCA 

  • The New American Dream Foundation 

  • REACH Western CT

  • Regional Y of Western CT 

  • Saint Joseph Parenting Center

  • United Way of Coastal and Western Connecticut 

  • Western Connecticut Regional Adult & Continuing Education (WERACE) 


  • Isabel Almeida* 

  • Laury Barruos 

  • Tiara Brandon

  • Elké Calero Sweeney* 

  • Adam Carley*

  • Fernanda Carvalho* 

  • Tara Carvalho*

  • Interim Superintendent Kara Casimiro*

  • Michelle Coelho*  

  • Eileen Costello* 

  • Katie Curran* (Advisory Council Co-Chair)

  • Heather Fotheringham 

  • Susan Giglio* 

  • Melissa Hannequin* (Executive Director)

  • Robyn Hoffman*

  • Michelle James* 

  • Richard Jannelli

  • Aadit Jerfy

  • Alexis Koukos*

  • Joan Laucius*

  • Alex Lunding 

  • Chrissy Maruffi 

  • William McNamara* 

  • Anne Mead* 

  • Tammy Mikadze 

  • Grace Molina (Advisory Council Vice Chair)

  • Emanuela Palmares* 

  • Crystal Perkins-Danmola*

  • Kara Prunty* (Advisory Council Co-Chair)

  • Carmen Prybylski* 

  • Elizabeth Quiñonez 

  • Rick Raucci* 

  • Lidia Santini* 

  • Maruja Saquicela

  • Kevin Sghia

  • Patricia Sghia

  • Yazin Shilleh* 

  • Cristian Sorto*

  • Leanne Tormey 

  • Wayne Winsley*

  • Arianna Zepeda

*Staff members of a signed organization 


To learn more about the Danbury Collective – including our history and current organizational structure – and about Collective Impact, look at this Overview Document. What do some of these terms mean? Learn more about “systems change”, “equity”, and “collective impact” HERE.




Contact the Danbury Collective Executive Director, Melissa Hannequin, at: melissa.hannequin@unitedwaycwc.org or 203-826-8299.

To read Melissa's bio, click HERE.