Press Room Headlines
275 city kids vie for spot in private schools program - NY Daily News
Friday, December 5th 2008, 11:40 PM
By Elizabeth Lazarowitz
They've practiced. They've preened. Some have even plotted power breakfasts.
Now, the big moment is here for about 275 kids who will audition today for spots in a program that could pave their way into the nation's elite preparatory schools.
"I feel very excited," Eric Chen, 10, a public school student fromBensonhurst, Brooklyn, said earlier this week. "It seems very mature to have an interview, and maturity is always something that I aim for in my life."
Outfitted in a new suit and tie and fortified with a sip of his mom's green tea, Eric will sit down with staff from the nonprofit A Better Chance at Manhattan's Trevor Day School.
The program selects the best and brightest from middle or lower-income, mostly minority areas and guides them through the application process for independent day and boarding schools with famous names like Andover, Exeter, Nightingale-Bamford and Trinity.
"Our mission is to create a diverse cadre of leaders in America," said Sandra Timmons, who has run A Better Chance for the past five years.
"I'm nervous because not a lot of people can make it in," said Enya Burns, 13, who is being raised by her grandmother inBrownsville.
The competition is stiff. Last year, nearly 2,000 kids applied to A Better Chance, and just over half made it past the interview. A similar program, Prep for Prep, which puts kids through a rigorous training regimen, last year took 234 students out of 8,000 nominated by their public schools. About 75% of them will go on to independent schools.
Issa Best, 12, from Wiliamsburg, hopes to be one of the lucky few. "I plan to come in looking professional," said Issa, who has spent weeks preparing for today's interview."I could learn and grow and compete globally and be among the best."
© 2008 NY Daily News
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