This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Alicia Meyer, president of A Better Chance of New Canaan, known locally as ABC House. Meyer tells us about the organization’s mission, how its scholars come to the New Canaan program, how ABC House navigated this past year of pandemic-related restrictions, and what she learned from a webinar series that ABC scholars and alumni put on last year in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis. Here’s a link to “A Chance To Unpack,” a webinar series presented by ABC students and alumni last year that we talk about during the interview. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:
Two mosquitoes trapped in in New Canaan—in Hoyts Swamp, located off of Route 123 near the Norwalk line—tested positive for West Nile Virus on Aug. 12 and 20, according to tests by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. ***
A Better Chance of New Canaan recently added four new members to its Board of Directors:
Devaun Bovell is a 2013 graduate of New Canaan High School and a 2017 graduate of Boston College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and was a four-year student-athlete. Bovell worked as a college athletics administrator for two years before enrolling in the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. During graduate school, he studied Education Policy and was a Graduate Assistant for the Wharton MBA Academic Affairs Office, earning a master’s degree in 2020.
Dina Connelly for the past 18 years has served as president of The John Pepe Salerno Foundation, an organization that she co-founded with her family to honor her brother.
Jelani Alladin reflected in a new way on how his experience as an ABC House of New Canaan scholar could benefit others in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 killing. The 27-year-old, a 2010 New Canaan High School graduate who works as a Broadway, TV and film actor—he starred in Disney’s “Frozen” and will be in the upcoming “The Walking Dead: The World Beyond”—said he found people around him wanting “to increase their awareness of the issues, increase their knowledge of history.”
“I have started a long journey communicating with very different types of people,” Alladin told NewCanaanite.com. “For me, the Broadway community is having big reckoning with race, as are other institutions, and I saw that New Canaan began to have that.”
Alladin last month joined fellow NCHS alumni in calling for the Board of Education to hire more people of color, further expand curriculum to address systemic racism and inequity, and hold twice-yearly events to educate students and faculty on racial justice. (The Board is debating now whether to adopt new district-wide goals on equity, diversity and inclusion.)
“Many of us are searching for answers of how to be anti-racist, how to be an ally, how to dismantle systemic racism and how to check their own privilege,” Alladin said. “And I want people to be able to answer that beyond reading a book and beyond watching a movie.”
Together with fellow ABC scholars Daryl Cummings and Devaun Bovell, Alladin starting Thursday will host a free multi-part Webinar designed to improve inclusivity by unpacking the experience of the students in New Canaan.
This week on 0684-Radi0, our free weekly podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Adrian Davis, a New Canaan High School senior who started here four years ago a as a scholar in the A Better Chance of New Canaan program. A Better Chance of New Canaan is grateful to all who purchased tickets to its sold-out “Night of the Stars” benefit gala on Saturday. Those wishing to support the organization may do so here on the ABC website. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:
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.