About A Better Chance

ABC stands for A Better Chance and is one of the oldest national organizations of its kind, helping young people of color achieve their potential through education. A Better Chance (National) serves as a national clearinghouse for deserving students, and places them in boarding and day schools across the country, or in one of 23 public school programs including Madison, Connecticut. National A Better Chance Inc.’s program started in 1963, and the first Scholars came to Madison A Better Chance in 1970.

Madison ABC is one of National A Better Chance’s most successful and longstanding Community Schools Programs. Community Schools Programs provide Scholars with real-life experience of living and learning in a community with the benefit of an extensive support system and nurturing environment.

The strengths of a Community Schools Program are:

  • Dedicated host family The host family provides deeper contact with the Madison community and a place in addition to the Roby House to relax and enjoy family connections.
  • Dedicated Academic Advisor  Each Scholar has a faculty member from the high school who helps advise and guide the Scholar academically throughout their high school experience.
  • Dedicated adult mentor from the community  Scholars are paired with an adult mentor from the community to help them navigate life outside of academics.
  • Local community participation Scholars have an opportunity to contribute and give back to the local community.

Madison ABC’s purpose is to educate, prepare, and support talented young men of color for college and to be successful leaders in society. We do this by providing a challenging and nurturing high school experience, and by cultivating the interests and talents of our Scholars both in and out of the classroom. The Madison ABC Program is committed to racial equity and encourages integrity, mutual respect, personal growth, and brotherhood for all who are associated with the program.

From Our Alumni

About Madison ABC

Madison ABC is unique because of its 50-plus-year history, strong academics, and unwavering community support.

  • Daniel Hand High School  Daniel Hand High School is one of Connecticut’s top high schools, renowned for its academics, athletics, arts, and faculty, providing Scholars with the opportunity to expand their horizons inside and outside the classroom.
  • Madison’s location  Madison is conveniently located between New York City and Boston, ensuring Scholars and their families can stay connected with easy access to Amtrak, Metro-North, and the Shoreline Express.
  • Unwavering community support for over 50 years  Living in the Madison community offers the opportunity for cultural exchange on a deep, open, and intimate level, which leads to mutual understanding, appreciation, and respect of differences.
  • Madison ABC’s alumni network Madison ABC Scholars benefit from active and involved alumni with outstanding mentorship and networking opportunities, including a foundation to help fund Scholars’ college experience.
Facts About Madison ABC

Mission: To provide academically talented young men of color the opportunity to have an outstanding secondary school education. Their four-year experience at Daniel Hand High School gives them the skills to excel in college and beyond, preparing them to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in society.

Enrollment: Each year we seek to fill the house with up to six qualified Scholars who are well matched to take advantage of the educational, cultural, and social opportunities that our community offers.

History: Our first Scholars came to Madison in 1970 so this year we are celebrating our 50th anniversary! Madison ABC is a Community Schools Program and one of National’s longest-running and most successful programs. Our alumni, who have gone on to attend various colleges and universities, including Dartmouth, Middlebury, Tufts, and Wesleyan, remain in close contact, supporting and mentoring current Scholars.

Staff: A resident director, resident assistant, and cook create and maintain a nurturing environment at the Roby House on Durham Road, the Scholars’ home in Madison.

Board of Directors: All-volunteer board of approximately 30 members of the shoreline community who set policies for the program and work to ensure its ongoing success.

Host families: Each Scholar is paired with a local family with whom he spends at least one weekend a month. Typically host families have a son or daughter who also attends DHHS. The strong relationships formed during their time here endure long after the Scholars graduate.

Funding: The funding of our budget comes through private donations from individuals, local businesses, religious institutions, and community organizations. The ACT II Thrift Shop remains a significant contributor.