The A Better Chance (ABC) Program, a national effort with headquarters in New York City, helps prepare motivated young men and women from settings lacking strong educational opportunities to attend college. If chosen, ABC Scholars attend private and public secondary schools and apply to institutions of higher education.
The ABC Program of the Clinton and Mohawk Valley hosts up to eight male students who live together in a house on the edge of the Hamilton College campus and attend nationally recognized Clinton High School. The ABC Scholars are supervised by resident directors who provide parental-type support. Students from Hamilton College provide tutoring assistance on school nights to help the ABC Scholars excel academically, with additional attention on research and writing skills, enabling the scholars to acquire disciplined study habits. Students also benefit from interactions with their two host families on alternate Sundays.
For more than 40 years, A Better Chance of Clinton & the Mohawk Valley has graduated more than 90 young men. They have continued their education at colleges such as Clarkson, Colgate, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, Gettysburg, Hamilton, Ithaca, Macalester, MIT, Princeton, Rollins, Siena, St. Lawrence, the University of Rochester and Union.
The Clinton Central School District is located in Clinton, New York, about 8 miles from Utica (population 62,000) and 45 miles east of Syracuse (population 145,000). The picturesque, New England-style village was founded in 1787 and named for George Clinton, the first governor of New York State. Clinton is a suburban/rural community with a solid educational history. Its citizens include executives, professional people and skilled workers, as well as educators from nearby Hamilton College (founded 1812). The district comprises 45 square miles, which encompasses the communities of Clinton, Clark Mills, Franklin Springs and the Town of Kirkland.
Clinton High School is composed of grades 9-12 with an average enrollment of 412 students and is proud to host one of 22 A Better Chance (ABC) Community Schools Programs from across the United States. Clinton offers a comprehensive, primarily academic, program of study. Career and technical education is available at the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Career and Technical Education Center, and students with individual needs receive serves in our Resource Room. Clinton is accredited by the New York State Board of Regents and was selected as a school of excellence in the U.S. Department of Education’s School Recognition Program. In 2014, Newsweek ranked Clinton 232nd nationally and 23rd in New York State on its list of America’s Top Schools. There are 37,000 secondary schools in the U.S. and more than 5,200 in New York State.
Clinton High School offers honors and accelerated courses in English, mathematics and science, and Advanced Placement courses in calculus, chemistry, English language, European history, French language, physics, Spanish, language, studio art, studio art:2D design, U.S. history, U.S. government and politics. Clinton students also have the opportunity to take courses as part of the Bridge Programs at nearby Hamilton College and Utica College. A dual enrollment program also exists with Mohawk Valley Community College for French IV, Spanish IV and statistics.