A Better Chance identifies and recruits academically talented and motivated students of color from disadvantaged school districts and places them in outstanding public, independent, and private high schools across the United States. Fayetteville-Manlius A Better Chance students live in a group home setting, attend the FM High School and are enrolled in an advanced college prep curriculum.
Nationally, over 99% of A Better Chance graduating seniors immediately enroll in college. Past FM A Better Chance scholars have attended such colleges and universities as Cornell, Tufts, NYU, Colgate, Syracuse (Newhouse), Oberlin, Mount Holyoke, Wellesley, University of Rochester and Wesleyan University. That education has often led them to be the first in their families to become teachers, social workers, doctors, lawyers, engineers and businesswomen.
The live-in resident directors and resident advisors at the FM ABC house offer academic mentoring that parents usually provide. The board of directors are volunteers who are committed to the program. Board members attend parent conferences, make house repairs, help students with the college application process, select new students and numerous other tasks.
During January of each year FM ABC receives applications of prospective students from National A Better Chance. The student selection committee carefully reviews these applications and invites students and parents for a visit and an interview. Meeting a student and their family gives them a chance to see the program and visit FM High School before they are admitted. FM High School is one of the most rigorous public schools in the country; A Better Chance scholars enter college with a clear idea of what is expected of them and the tools to complete degree programs.