A Better Chance (ABC)


A Better Chance is the preeminent resource for identifying, recruiting and developing leaders among young people of color in the United States.
We are changing the face of leadership in America by opening up educational opportunities for talented young people of color. We identify, recruit, place and support students at more than 300 of the most rigorous and prestigious independent day schools, boarding schools and public schools in the country.

A Better Chance works to recruit, select, place and support talented students of color in some of the nation’s finest college preparatory schools. As an organization, we work closely with schools beginning with our scholar’s application. Through a unique assessment model we identify potential candidates and work to match them with our member institutions.
Schools are admitted to membership after completing an application and upon the recommendation of the College Preparatory Schools Program staff.  Our goal is to increase and nurture affiliations with independent schools and Community Schools Programs that are committed to diversity, financial aid allocation, academic excellence and personal and social growth.

Parental Involvement
We believe that in order for our Scholars to be successful it is important for parents to be actively involved in the educational lives of their children. To this end, each region has Parent-as-Partners groups to help facilitate the learning process. It is said that “To whom much is given, much is expected,” and you as a parent have the responsibility of being engaged in the school community and with A Better Chance as well, lending resources, time and your talents to help make your students’ experiences greater and the program stronger.

These responsibilities are difficult to quantify, but significant. As a part of our family, we expect your child to uphold A Better Chance’s rich tradition of excellence and accomplishment. We expect him/her to work to fulfill the vast potential we all see in him/her by giving 100% in every endeavor. And we expect your child to use what he/she learns and achieves to give back to others – by sharing his/her time and talents. We hope you will join us in encouraging your child to live by the following motto: Reach for excellence!
To facilitate your participation in the A Better Chance family we encourage you to join your regional Parents-as-Partners group.  Parents-as-Partners (PAP) are local groups of families of Scholars and alumni of A Better Chance who come together as a support network with the understanding that educating young people is a family affair.   The A Better Chance family includes Scholars, parents, alumni, A Better Chance staff and school personnel.  Through planned meetings and activities, members of Parents as Partners assist the local office in making the A Better Chance experience successful for Scholars and their families and in expanding program opportunities.
Parents-as-Partners is a way for parents to both stay involved with the organization and provide additional support for our Scholars while they are away at school. After graduation, parents may continue to be involved with the local P-A-P, working in conjunction with the parents of the currently enrolled Scholars and continuing to lend their wealth of experience to the local group.

For more information about the Parents-as-Partners group in your region, please contact your local Program Coordinator or click on the link for your regional P-A-P group.
We look forward to meeting and working with each of you in the near future.
Welcome to the family!

Scholar For Life
We are proud of our role in facilitating your child’s college preparatory school experience and we are committed to a lifetime relationship with him/her, as a “Scholar for Life.” Your child is part of a special “family” with a long tradition and thousands of members. Membership in any family brings with it both opportunities and responsibilities.

A Better Chance’s entire budget is raised by our Development Staff through donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals. All parents are asked annually to contribute to the Parents Fund. No gift is too small; all gifts are welcome and each carries an important message to other donors regarding how much you value the A Better Chance experience.

Thank you for expressing a desire to financially support the mission of A Better Chance. For nearly 45 years, A Better Chance has provided students with the opportunity to realize their full potential. Your contribution will make a difference in the lives of young people and play a vital role in helping A Better Chance fulfill its mission.
We encourge donations in one of two ways:
•    To make a gift by check or credit card, click here to download and print the donation form
•    To make a secure gift online, click here (if your computer doesn’t already have Adobe Reader, download a free version here)
•    Matching gifts – make your gift go farther!
Do you want to maximize the impact of your gift?  Your gift can be doubled or even tripled by your employer!  Here are the three easy steps:
1.    Find out if your employer will match your gift (contact your human resources department)
2.    If your employer matches employee contributions, request a matching gift form, fill it out and send it to A Better Chance. You can send the matching gift form in with your donation or at any time thereafter.
3.    We will complete our portion of the matching gift form and return it to your employer. The matching funds will be sent directly to us.
Watch your gift and your employer’s matching contribution go towards our goal of substantially increasing the number of young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.

A Better Chance is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For this reason, your contributions are tax-deductible to the extent provided by the law, for those who itemize their deductions.


A Better Chance began in the 1960s as an innovative experiment in educational opportunity.  At a time of political unrest, social idealism, and the struggle for civil rights, the Charles E. Merrill Foundation awarded a grant that allowed twenty-three independent schools to respond to President John F. Kennedy’s call for equal access to the nation’s top schools for students of color.  The schools’ response: the Independent School Talent Search Program (ISTSP).

ISTSP held its first session for academically talented young men in the summer of 1964 at Dartmouth College. Fifty young men had been accepted by college preparatory schools so long as they completed the summer program. That summer, the name of the program changed to Project ABC: A Better Chance.
Over the years, A Better Chance has developed an approach that has identified and cultivated a highly competent, motivated, and successful body of over 11,000 students and alumni.     An overwhelming majority of alumni have gone on to graduate from competitive colleges, graduate programs, or professional schools. Our distinguished pool of A Better Chance alumni includes leaders in business, law, medicine, government, education, and the arts.  Today, A Better Chance is a highly successful nationally recognized organization, the oldest — and still the only national — program of its kind.
Nearly 45 years ago,  A Better Chance was built on a simple idea: better educational opportunities lead to better lives. More than 11,000 Scholars and the millions of people they have touched are a testament to the validity of this premise.

Planned Giving
Why should you consider a planned gift to A Better Chance?
Your support is vital to the success of A Better Chance — it costs approximately $7,000 to identify, recruit and help place each Scholar.  We would be unable to continue our important mission without your support.  Planned giving is one way that you can contribute to A Better Chance.
Planned gifts provide A Better Chance the funds needed to carry on its mission.  It also benefits you as a donor, by allowing you to leave a legacy to future Scholars while obtaining important tax benefits.  Planned giving employs a variety of charitable giving methods that integrate your charitable, family and financial goals while expressing your personal values.  It can provide valuable tax benefits and/or lifetime income for you and your spouse or other loved one.
Planned gifts can be made with cash, but many are made by donating assets such as stocks, real estate, art pieces, or business interests – there are numerous possibilities.  The most common type of planned gift is a bequest, made through your will. Other popular gifts include:
•    charitable gift annuity
•    charitable lead trust
•    deferred gift annuity
•    pooled income fund
•    remainder annuity trust
•    remainder unitrust
•    retained life estate
Donors should seek charitable gift planning advice from professionals with integrity, expertise, and experience in law, investments, property, tax, and charitable transfers in order to assure both the technical merits of the transfer and the philanthropic quality of the gift.
Please consider your legacy of support for A Better Chance.  For more information on planned giving please call Kris Dasgupta, Vice President for Advancement, at (646) 346-1356.

Business and Corporate Partnerships Giving
Corporate Partnerships
A Better Chance is a powerful strategic partner for corporations.  If your message is product-driven, our high-achieving group of 11,000+ alumni (ages 25-55) is the perfect target for your important business message:
•    It is the preeminent national resource for identifying, recruiting and developing leaders among young people of color throughout the United States

•    Its mission is to develop a diverse cadre of leaders for America

•    Over 40% of our alumni have incomes of $100,000 or above

•    Morer than half report earning a graduate degree and have been successful in a wide range of industries and professions

•    Of those going on to graduate school, 55% obtained professional degrees (e.g., MBA, J.D., MPA or MD)  and nearly half  have careers in business, finance or law

Many companies targeting communities of color view A Better Chance as a strategic link to their markets.  Each year, many (including a number of Fortune 500 companies) support A Better Chance and its programs financially, including:
American Express
Angelo, Gordon & Co
Bear, Stearns & Co, Inc.
The Blackstone Group
Boies, Schiller & Flexner
Brunswick Group, LLC
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Coca Cola
Costas Holdings, LLC
Darden Restaurants, Inc.
Digitas, Inc.
Dodge & Cox Funds
Fremont Group
GE Industrial
GE Real Estate
GE Security
Georgeson, Inc.
Goldman Sachs
Hilton Hotels
HIP Health Plan of NY
Innisfree M&A Incorporated
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
JP Morgan Asset Management
Dan Klores Communications, Inc.
Laffer Investments
Leeds Equity Partners, LLC
Lehman Brothers
Lightyear Capital
McKinsey & Company
Mellon Private Wealth Management
Morgan Stanley
Neon Communications
Palisade Capital Management
Piper Jaffray
Polinger Shannon & Luchs Co
Saks, Inc.
Sills Cummis Epstein & Gross
Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
Smith Barney
Sony Usa
State Street
TG Riese &Associates, Ltd
US Concepts
Please check out our Business and Professional Partnership, just one of many ways we help provide “a better chance” to young people of color!


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