A Better Chance for Young Men of Color

By Wendy Kohler, President, Amherst A Better Chance

Warm greetings to all from Amherst A Better Chance!  I’m delighted to have this opportunity to talk to friends, neighbors, and community members about Amherst ABC.  No doubt some of you are already supporters of this program.  Others may have heard about us over the years, but never quite understood what ABC is all about.  Hooray for UMass for giving us the opportunity to share our mission, our passion, and our news! 

Amherst A Better Chance provides a supportive “better chance” experience for young men of color who come from resource-disadvantaged communities and school districts.  We seek to create robust academic and social challenges, opportunities, and activities that allow each young man to realize his full potential within a close-knit community of family, teachers, and volunteers. Since the program began, over 125 students have attended Amherst Regional High School.  Graduates have attended more than 50 colleges and universities.

Scholars live family-style in the ABC House at 74 North Prospect Street in downtown Amherst.  ABC Resident Directors provide a warm supportive environment enriched by daily sessions with Amherst College tutors. ABC Board members, community mentors and ARHS faculty and staff also offer guidance and support.  All services are provided free of charge to the scholars’ families.

I can’t adequately express to you how rewarding it is to know these scholars and watch them mature and thrive here in Amherst.  They come to our town and our high school as 14-year-old boys.  Their courage and determination is matched by their parents who so bravely entrust their sons to our care for their four years of high school.  Sooner than we care to realize, these same boys become young men, walking across the graduation stage with their Amherst High School diplomas, having given much to their school and community, and ready for the challenges as well as the rewards of college life and beyond.

Here is a piece of recent news I am happy to share!  Amherst A Better Chance Resident Director Talib Sadiq was the recipient of the Community Service Award at the 4th annual African American Achievement Awards night, held in June in the Amherst Regional High School auditorium. Here he is being congratulated by our ABC Scholars. 

Man shaking hands

I look forward to sharing more great stories from Amherst A Better Chance!

To donate to Amherst A Better Chance, follow the link provided and click on Add to My Donation Basket, or use the code 476088 on your paper pledge form.