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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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ABC starting capital campaign for new house

Published 11:49 am, Saturday, March 1, 2014
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A Better Chance has launched "Building to Advance A Better Chance," the first capital campaign in 31 years.

This year marks the 32nd year of Darien's A Better Chance, which is part of a national organization that recruits academically qualified and highly motivated students of color from under-served areas and offers them four-year academic and boarding scholarships to college preparatory high schools. The goal is for them to gain acceptance to competitive colleges and take leadership positions in society.

Six female ABC scholars currently reside at the Darien ABC house and attend Darien High School.

In spring 1979, leaders of Person-to-Person and the YWCA of Darien/Norwalk laid the groundwork for an ABC program for girls in town, following the recently established boys' ABC house in New Canaan. ABC in Darien welcomed its first students in 1981. They took up residence at 11 Brookside Road, courtesy of the First Congregational Church. Over the past 32 years, 47 scholars have called this house home.

In fall 2013, with the goal of increasing the number of girls in the program from six to eight, the ABC board of directors approved the acquisition of a house on Tokeneke Road that will serve the needs of the girls for the next 32 years and beyond. Although the house is in excellent condition, the board is launching a capital campaign to enable the addition of a space for the program's resident directors and their families, and for renovations necessary to accommodate a program with 12 people living in the house, according to a release from ABC.

To date, according to the organization, 100 percent of the ABC in Darien graduates have attended four-year colleges and 95 percent of them have graduated from college.

Locally, over the past 32 years, ABC has had 24 board presidents, 269 board members, 147 host families, 11 resident director couples and 41 graduates.

For information, visit www.abcdarien.org.