ABC Board Reviews Successes, Challenges of Coming Year

As our students kicked off the start of the new school year, the board of directors did the same, gathering on a recent Sunday afternoon to advance the mission of A Better Chance of Andover.

ABC has a working board, meaning that our board members, along with the many friends of ABC not only provide fiscal, management and program oversight but also spend countless operationally focused volunteer hours ensuring that the students have transportation to their activities, the house is maintained, tutors and college mentors are engaged with the students, and life for the scholars runs efficiently and smoothly, much like a boarding school faculty. The goal? To successfully pursue closing the education gap for students of color in American society. The ABC leadership recognizes that, in the midst of all of this daily activity, it is essential to step back and take time to reflect on our effectiveness as a board; how we can continue to improve on what we do and how we do it so that we can build on the opportunities available to students through ABC.

Board members gathered at Abbot Hall School Room, thanks to the generosity of Phillips Academy (a longtime supporter and partner), to assess our progress in meeting the goals laid out in the 3-year Strategic Plan, developed in 2012. The highlight of the afternoon was moderated by Dave Welbourn, the recently retired CEO/President of the Essex County Community Foundation, who generously shared his non-profit expertise, offering wisdom and perspective for the development work ahead.

The ABC program has been very effective in expanding the enrichment opportunities for our students, reconnecting with alumni, and more clearly communicating our mission to the community and supporters. Areas of focus and improvement for the year ahead include the effective engagement and management of our many volunteers and the expansion of our donor base, a challenge as the number of compelling educational causes increases in the Merrimack Valley.