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Madison A Better Chance

Opening the door to greater educational opportunities since 1970 in Madison

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The Madison ABC Holiday Concert is back again this year.

5:30 pm – Sunday, December 7, 2014

First Congregational Church

All Welcome!

The 2013 concert was a "HUGE SUCCESS"!                            The 2014 concert will be BETTER YET!

What is the Madison ABC?

ABC stands for A Better Chance. A Better Chance is a national organization, one of the oldest of its kind, helping minority youth achieve their potential through education. The national program started in 1963 as a "pioneering experiment" in educational opportunity at selective independent schools and continues today, nationwide, at private and top-ranked public schools as a proven winner.


The Madison ABC program is one of the most successful and long standing public school ABC programs, having started in 1970. Madison ABC is overseen by a volunteer board of directors, and our mission is to provide the opportunity for an outstanding secondary school education - right here at Daniel Hand High School (DHHS) - to qualified students from inner city communities. The students' four-year experience at DHHS offers them what they need to excel in college and go on to assume positions of leadership and responsibility. 

Madison's Daniel Hand High School provides ABC students the opportunity to be vital and active members of the school community. Students are assigned an academic advisor who assists with scholastic decisions and student development. ABC students are required to maintain at least a B average, and they consistently attain honor roll status.
Host Families
Each ABC student becomes part of a Madison host family. One weekend a month, the student stays with his host family, sharing family life and activities. This gives the student the opportunity to bond with people in the community. Plus, the host family is in a great position to support their ABC son because usually they have a child who is attending DHHS. The ABC student and his host family forge a relationship which continues long after the student graduates from the program.
2014-2015 Madison ABC students, families, host families, and ABC friends on Family Day on
Saturday, September 20, 2014.
Student Selection
All ABC student scholars undergo a rigorous admissions process to become a part of the program. First, teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, ABC alumni, and other volunteers nationwide identify promising students and recommend that they look into the ABC Program. These students demonstrate both academic talent and strong motivation to succeed.  Each candidate completes the application requirements of the national program, including multiple questionnaires and the SSAT or ISEE. Madison ABC then selects the students who best match and might benefit from the educational, cultural, and social opportunities our program has to offer. The top candidates are invited to come to Madison for a couple of days to interact with current ABC students, our resident staff, and the Madison ABC Selection Committee, and to visit Daniel Hand High School.  The Selection Committee then makes the final decisions on which student or students are invited to participate in the Madison ABC program.
Home in Madison - The Roby House
Madison ABC students reside at the Roby House at the corner of Durham Road and Green Hill Road. The Roby House is a warm, comfortable, and secure home away from home. There the students share friendship, eat meals, do chores, study, and sleep - whatever most teen-aged boys at home. They even have a great basketball court in the yard where they and their friends can unwind and release energy.
Our Resident Director, David Robinson, lives at the house with the students and manages day to day household operations as well as seeing that rules are followed, chores are done, and curfew is met. David is an ABC alumnus, having graduated from the Amherst ABC program in 1981. He is also an alumnus of Wesleyan University. We are happy that he is here for the students and for us.
Our Resident Tutor supervises the students during their evening study hours, 7 to 10 pm, Sunday through Thursday, and is a valued mentor as well at other times as well. Together, the Resident Director and Tutor have created a nurturing environment and serve as role models for the students.
Madison ABC students are actively involved in a plethora of extracurricular activities, including sports, band, VIBE Show Choir, instrumental music, and chess.  The ABC scholars not only participate in the life of their school, they are an integral part of the Madison community and they take part in in community efforts such as volunteering for Green Up Clean Up day, the ACT II Thrift Shop, the ABC ACT II Annual Bike Sale in the fall, Raise the Roof in spring, and the annual ABC Holiday Concert in December.
Graduation and the Annual ABC Meeting
Graduation is a time of celebration and reflection for the Madison ABC students and their families. Our graduates are honored at a special party at the Roby House and at our June Annual Meeting. One highlight of this meeting is the guest speaker, and influential person, usually of color, who shares his or her life experiences. In addition, our host families share heartwarming memories of the past four years.  This year, the Yale University head basketball coach, James Jones, spoke as we honored our 2014 graduate, Asa Palmer, and reflected on the year's accomplishments of all the scholars.

See photos from our 2013 ABC Family Day at the Roby House

The scholars, their families, their host families, and lots of Madison ABC friends were there.

This page was last modified on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 09:32 PM