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Senior Program Manager of A Better Chance, Keith Wilkerson, and parent Shanita Spencer discussed the benefits and opportunities made available to African-American students through the program on NewsOne Now.

A Better Chance is dedicated to providing “educational leadership opportunities for middle and high school students of color in the hopes of creating leaders,” Wilkerson explained.

Students who benefit from the scholarship program are given the opportunity to attend the “same types of schools” Deval Patrick, former participant and Governor of Massachusetts, attended.


Over the course of two generations, A Better Chance has placed more than 14,000 talented young people of color into the nation’s leadership pipeline through increased access to academically rigorous independent and public schools.

According to Wilkerson, A Better Chance works with independent day schools and boarding schools across the country. Students are selected for the program not necessarily by income, instead, they must have at least a B-grade average, have a good standing in the community, and be interested in the “challenge” that independent day schools and boarding schools present.

Spencer, a public school teacher, told Martin the benefits of her daughters attending a boarding school, included developing “really close friendships” with their high school roommates and friends, as well as “really unique educational experiences.” Both of her daughters have traveled domestically and abroad as a result of the access A Better Chance affords them.

Watch Roland Martin, Keith Wilkerson, and Shanita Spencer discuss how A Better Chance is working to provide educational opportunities to students of color in the video clip above.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


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A Better Chance: Scholarship Program Provides Students Of Color With Chance To Attend Private & Public Schools  was originally published on