“Words cannot describe his kindness”


When I was little, my family moved from Ghana to Brooklyn, NY. After my mom passed, we relocated again, this time to Stamford. Living without a mother made me feel like I could not ever achieve success.

Everything changed when I met the Chairman of the East Side Partnership, James Grunberger. He helped me resolve conflicts I was having at home, was involved in my academic and extracurricular activities(he cheered me on at every sports game!) and he is a huge father figure to me.

James did more than just help me find value in myself - being around someone like him, someone who is the embodiment of empathy, compassion and care, has made me aspire to give back to my community.

One day I hope to help others just like James helped me.

— Nii

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“Life changing”

I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When I was thirteen, my family immigrated to the United States in search of a better life.

The kindness and generosity of James Grunberger and the East Side Partnership has helped me reach my full potential: their support helped me graduate from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Social Work. After that, I joined the Peace Corps and was posted to Botswana, Africa, and I was able to give back to other people around the world. I also plan on earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work in the future.

I am incredibly grateful to the East Side Partnership for helping me believe in myself, they have truly changed my life.

— Miriam


“Connecting the dots in Stamford.”

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The East Side Partnership does a fantastic job at listening to what the community wants and discovering new & unique solutions.

— Jonathan Hoch, Chief Operating Officer, Domus
& Board Representative, Stamford School Building Committee


“Doing what actually matters.”


The community should have a voice and that voice is a key part of my job. The East Side Partnership has helped me connect more with my community and has given me a great impression of what Stamford has to offer.

— James Travers, Transportation Bureau Chief, Stamford CT

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“A real blessing in my life”

My family emigrated from Guatemala, making me a first generation child in America. My experience has not always been easy; neither of my parents went to university, so I’ve always had to push myself forward educationally, as well as inspire my younger sister to take her studies seriously.

When I was first introduced to the founder of the East Side Partnership, it’s safe to say I needed a helping hand. James helped me expand my professional network and when I needed it most, I was offered a better job opportunity. This meant a lot to me as I was working long hours on top of going to school, in order to feed my sister and family.

Having someone there to guide you when things seem darkest is truly life-changing. I am so thankful that the East Side Partnership taking action to help empower our struggling youth.

— Oscar

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James has always been a great supporter of giving students the tools they need to succeed.

He has inspired me to give back to those in need and seeing his drive to help others has influenced me to do the same.

— Mona Mitri, Owner, Tutor Me SOS


“Unmatched guidance.”

James helped me recognize my strengths and improve upon my weaknesses. He showed me how to respect my community and I discovered happiness in giving back!

— Mario


“Forever grateful.”

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My family moved from Togo, West Africa to Connecticut for better opportunities. When our parents decided to leave Stamford for other family, we had a difficult choice to make.

My brother and I were able to stay because of the support and kindness of the East Side Partnership. The group’s founder, James, offered us accelerated guidance in academic, personal and career growth. The mentoring we have received has truly been a gift!

The East Side Partnership has changed our lives and helped us succeed on our own in Stamford.

— Karlos and Camille

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“The type of person every city needs”

I moved to the United States from Haiti four years ago with my family. James helped my family when we were in a time of great need and he has made a huge difference in my life. Even more so, he coached me on getting a job and building meaningful relationships with my peers.

I would not be where I am today without the kindness of James and the East Side Partnership.

— Denise Desgazon

“Helped me jump-start my career”

After leaving a job where I was overworked and underpaid, I wasn’t sure where my future would lead. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to meet James Grunberger and the East Side Partnership. They introduced me to several accomplished computer engineers, which ended up leading to new job opportunities.

— Ron



I never really prioritized my schoolwork; to me, there were always more interesting things to think about than education. However, I reached a point where I realized that my education was tied to my own future and not taking my studies seriously was the same thing as not caring about my own future.

When I looked to James for help, I was welcomed with open arms and given tutoring and college coaching. As I progressed, my grades improved from C’s and D’s until I had A’s across the board! The confidence that the East Side Partnership has cultivated within me is indescribable.

— Stephany