A Better Chance,  Columns,  Guest Columns,  new canaan,  Opinion

Op-Ed: ABC House launches annual appeal

With today’s political upheavals – both national and international, combined with worry about global warming, terrorism, immigration and racism — developing the leadership for today and tomorrow’s challenges is a major concern for many American citizens.
We are fortunate to live in a community where this is a high priority. Since 1963, A Better Chance in New Canaan has been opening the door to greater educational opportunities for a highly promising but underserved population of high school-aged students. They do this by carefully selecting two new eighth grade graduates each year to create a total of eight highly motivated and high achieving students, two each for grades nine through 12, to enjoy the benefits of a top-drawer education at New Canaan High School. ABC provides room and board, a resident director and the assistance of two live-in tutors at the ABC House at 64 Locust Avenue in New Canaan, as well as a part time cook and administrative assistant. This year’s resident students come from areas ranging from the Bronx, Queens and Harlem, N.Y., to Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia, Pa.
The students are all assigned to a host family, volunteers who welcome the opportunity to make a difference in a deserving child’s life and also enrich the lives of their own children by hosting an ABC student every weekend for an overnight and Sunday dinner.
Now launching its annual appeal, A Better Chance of New Canaan is part of a national non-profit organization which has helped pave the way for more than 14,000 scholars who have graduated from member schools, a majority of whom have matriculated to some of the most highly competitive and prestigious colleges and universities in the country.
A Better Chance does not just help students academically; the staff and volunteers also provide advice on the college selection and application process and pursuing options for financial aid. This fall Alan Heaps, national director of the ABC College Preparatory School Program wrote a letter of recommendation on behalf of Ryan Hernandez, an ABC Scholar and senior at NCHS, writing that “Ryan has risen to the top of our competitive admission process and made the most of the accompanying opportunities.”
Ryan is interested in pursuing a career in computer science/engineering and took a two-week summer course at Princeton to study cyber security this year. Speaking of his ABC experience, he said, “We are a fun and exciting group that bounce off of each other. We definitely attempt to make an accepting living space where we can all trust each other and help push ourselves.”
For further information visit abchouseofnc.org.
The post Op-Ed: ABC House launches annual appeal appeared first on New Canaan Advertiser.