2023 Volunteer of the Year Award Winner
Commonwealth Financial Network
This program is an essential part of me. I grew up as one of these kids. I’ve felt their fears and experienced similar challenges. I know they can achieve success and have a better future through hard work and a commitment to education.
Danbury Grassroots Academy’s (DGA) mission is to improve the lives of promising, selected, underserved students in Danbury emphasizing education, character, tennis and health. The organization seeks to improve report card grades, reading levels, high school graduation rates and establish career pathways or college attendance.
After 30 years of volunteering for various non-profits in Danbury, Carl Bailey was frustrated by the lack of measurable outcomes in the nonprofit space. He founded DGA in 2006 and has served as the President, principal fundraiser and community relationship manager ever since. Since Carl was born into an immigrant, blue collar family, he feels a deep connection to the students DGA serves and understands the challenges they face. He believes DGA’s rigorous programming can unlock students’ potential and set them on a path to lifelong success. DGA is Carl’s lifework and the organization is more than just important to him – it is an essential part of him.