Mission

Our primary mission is to provide academically gifted, economically disadvantaged and highly motivated young men of color (African-American, Latino, Asian-American and Native American) the opportunity to live in our community and to study in Westport's outstanding public high school. Our goal is to help prepare our scholars through a better education to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in their careers, communities and families. The second mission of A Better Chance of Westport is to increase diversity in our community. The A Better Chance Scholars are an asset to Staples High School and Westport, bringing a valuable new perspective to Westport Students and also, benefiting the entire town through the scholars' involvement in community life ~ in volunteering, after-school jobs and our host family program.

“This program, this [Westport] community, changed my life. I will proudly have the honor of being an A Better Chance Scholar for as long as I live.”
— Chukwuma Onyebuenyi, SHS '11

History

A Better Chance is a national program that refers academically talented inner-city students to some of the nation's finest independent and public schools. In the 1960s, A Better Chance began as an innovative experiment designed to expand educational opportunity for talented young people of color. Originally, A Better Chance identified and recruited talented students and referred them to independent boarding schools nationally. In the 1970s, A Better Chance expanded its placements to include public schools. These students reside in a house staffed with resident directors and tutors, and they attend the local public school. These homes are supported and managed by the local community.

Since its founding in 1963, A Better Chance has been the preeminent resource for identifying, recruiting, educating and developing leaders from within the nation's most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. A Better Chance serves as a national network for deserving students, and places them in one of 279 boarding and day schools across the country, or in one of 23 public school programs including Staples High School in Westport, CT. Over 14,000 A Better Chance graduates have gone on to pursue further education and careers due to the opportunities provided by the A Better Chance program. Participants who qualify for and are accepted into our program have access to unsurpassed educational and leadership opportunities.

Since opening our doors in the fall of 2002, A Better Chance of Westport has been transforming lives through educational opportunity. Westport A Better Chance provides deserving students with "a better chance" by placing them in an environment that encourages academic excellence, improves their college acceptance chances, and lays the foundation for an improved future - for our scholars, our community and our country. Beginning in 2005, our first graduates left Westport and now we have 17 Staples High School graduates who have gone on to four-year colleges/universities, graduate school and their careers.