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A Better Chance Is All It Takes

Submitted by on November 12, 2010 – 3:12 pmNo Comment

The United States still hasn’t figured out how to make public schools work for everyone. Rich neighborhoods have great schools while poor areas are often struggling for basic educational needs. Private schools seem a panacea of opportunity for those who can get there. But how do you get there when you’re unlucky enough to be attending a struggling public school and your family simply can’t afford it?

Enter in A Better Chance (ABC). For underprivileged, hardworking students aspiring for more, ABC may just be your educational fairy godmother. This program takes underexposed, intelligent young adults and places them in private schools. According to ABC president Sandra Timmons, “ABC is for underrepresented children who are African-American, Latino, Asian-American, Native-American—kids who are historically considered underrepresented. We look for students who are performing really well in under-performing schools and try to help them leverage a better opportunity.” That’s what I’m talking about! If education is the key, then ABC is the door to the whole wide world. (DrJays.com’s CFO, Jean Charles, is an ABC success story and he’s got the Hotchkiss/UPenn/Stanford pedigree to prove it.)

This organization isn’t in the business of offering handouts—students in ABC must take the SSAT, fill out an application and have a history of making excellent grades in order to be considered for the program. As a national organization with offices in major cities across the U.S. (New York, Atlanta, Oakland and Philadelphia), ABC works with a network of 300 of the nation’s top preparatory schools, both boarding and day, and a select number of highly qualified public schools, as well.

ABC is a not-for-profit relying on the generous donations of those who believe in their mission. Since we’re officially in the season of giving, there’s a way we can all ensure ABC’s future. ABC is competing in the Member’s Project, an initiative by American Express to encourage citizens to “take charge, take part” and volunteer.

Sign up for the Member’s Project and you can vote for the charity you believe is most deserving of a giant donation. On November 29, AmEx will announce five winning charities—they’ll split a $1 million prize. I mean, $200K isn’t too shabby and will go along way toward furthering ABC’s good work. As Timmons points out, “We’ve had a big grassroots support structure for a long time.” Let’s keep that homegrown spirit and mobilize.

Voting ends November 21, so head to your computer and help ABC keep helping the community. The next generation depends on it.

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