Recently, A Better Chance of New Canaan (ABC House) held its annual graduation party for our two NCHS seniors. Josiah Jones and Kai Clancy each addressed the guests and reflected on their four years in the ABC program, NCHS, and the ABC house itself. It is amazing how the boys grow in confidence and poise, and speak from the heart in front of a large group. It was inspiring to hear them speak so positively of the experience and thank those who helped them along the way.
Now it’s our turn to look back and say THANK YOU as we step away from our posts as Co-Resident Directors of the ABC House of New Canaan. It was five years ago, as “empty nesters,” that we were offered the opportunity to move into the ABC House with eight teen-aged boys to share their journeys through high school and the New Canaan community.
We are very proud of all we accomplished while RDs of the program, and honored that we were able to help these boys become young men and enter wonderful colleges on their way to interesting careers. Even when there were occasional serious issues for some, it was heartening to help them navigate through it. It has been a joy (and yes, sometimes a pain) to be such an integral part of their lives during the teen years. It gave life a shot of adrenalin to deal with the trials and tribulations of five to eight teen-aged boys each year.
Being the Resident Directors of the ABC House gave us a welcomed new purpose and responsibility to each day, in a very meaningful and rewarding way. It gave us the chance to be more involved in the community and to meet so many generous people who not only touched the boys’ lives, but ours as well. THANK YOU to the Board members, host parents, tutors, cook, NCHS teachers, counselors, coaches and administrators, who all worked so hard with us over this amazing journey. A special THANK YOU to the Executive Board and the boys’ families for entrusting us with this tremendous opportunity.
The greatest personal reward is when any of the alumni visit the house during a school break. When you hear them speak of now realizing just how important the program was to them, it reminds us of why we are all involved, and why the hard work and occasional angst are all worth it. It has been an honor and a privilege, and we will miss the boys and program very much. Laura will continue to work in the Central Office of NCPS, while John searches for a new challenge.
Thank you, ABC…and thank you, New Canaan.
John and Laura Walsh