Looking at Jonathan Choi, you’d think school is as easy as ABC.
In June, he’ll be Staples’ salutatorian. He has been accepted by both Stanford and Yale. His future is limitless.
In fact, Jon has worked incredibly hard for his success. Lots of smart people never give graduation speeches, or get into such great schools.
And Jon did it 3,000 miles from his Seattle home.
He’s a scholar at Glendarcy House, the North Avenue site of Westport’s chapter of ABC. The local affiliate of the national A Better Chance program gives “motivated students of color from educationally disadvantaged areas” the chance to develop their academic and leadership potential.
ABC scholars give back as much as they get from Staples and Westport. Young men like Jon — plus fellow seniors Charles Winslow (accepted at Cornell) and Jeff Arias (choosing between 12 colleges) — make us swell with pride.
“I am thrilled for all 3 young men, and the ABC program,” said Staples principal John Dodig. “These young men bring another point of view to Staples, and a sense of what the real world is like outside our comfort zone.
“They also take away a sense that hard work and a quality education is the key to success as adults. The Westport and Staples communities helped them successfully overcome being away from home, and to succeed in a very different economic environment. We are all better people for having lived together for 4 years.”
ABC House doesn’t just happen. Its success depends in large part on support — both time and money — from generous Westporters.
ABC’s annual fundraiser is this Saturday, at the Unitarian Church. A cocktail hour and silent auction at 6:30 p.m. will be followed by a live auction, and brief talks from ABC seniors and alumni. (Online bidding is available now.)
It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a place like Westport to keep a place like ABC House going — and to raise the hopes of all the Jons, Charleses and Jeffs we hope will follow them here.(For more information on the annual fundraiser, contact Laurie Gendell at 203-255-4445 or Lori Sochol at 203-256-5707.)