One of my favorite Westport projects is A Better Chance. Part of a national organization — but very, very local — it provides educational and leadership opportunities to students of color from economically disadvantaged areas.
They attend Staples, participate in school and civic life, and give back at least as much to us as they get.
But until last weekend, I’d never been inside the “ABC House.”
On Saturday the residents, house parents and board of directors threw an open house. They marked the 10th anniversary of A Better Chance — and an impressive summer renovation of Glendarcy House (the official name).
The kitchen is sweet. Resident directors’ quarters have been made more flexible. There’s a new computer room, expanded dining, and more space for everyone.
There’s even a mud room. They may be ABC scholars — but they’re also active teenagers.
“Before this, none of our kids wanted to invite anyone else over,” a director said. “Now they can.”
The renovation — envisioned by Westport architects Sharon Ranney and Eric Michaels, and made real by the generous contributions of time, expertise and spirit by over 2 dozen contractors, painters, masons, interior designers, landscapers, plumbers, carpenters and other artisans and businesses throughout Fairfield County — was completed in just 3 1/2 months.
The “kids” — really, young adults — proudly showed visitors their new digs.
Luis is only a freshman. But as he gave me a tour, it was clear he’s already part of the ABC Family.
He paused in front of some photos. He described the graduates — young men he’s never met — and then pointed out the “Glen” and “Darcy” who gave their name to the house where Luis now lives.
The house that’s newly renovated, thanks to so many caring, creative men and women in Westport and beyond.
The Glendarcy ABC House that is now truly a home.