NEW YORK, NY (July 23, 2019) – The National Board of Directors of A Better Chance, a national nonprofit organization that recruits academically talented and motivated students of color and guides them toward a variety of educational and leadership opportunities today announced that Sandra E. Timmons will step down after 16 years as president to pursue other opportunities. 

“I have had the good fortune to serve on the Board of Directors during Sandra’s entire tenure as President where she has been tireless in successfully building the talented A Better Chance team and fulfilling the organization’s mission,” said Kurt Van Wagenen, National Board Chair of A Better Chance.  “I watched her translate strategy into action that has transformed the organization.  She is a thoughtful leader whose high standards, energy and passion for the mission have paved the way for thousands of talented young people to improve dramatically the future of our society.”  

A Better Chance has significantly expanded its national footprint, improved student outcomes and increased visibility during Ms. Timmons’ tenure.  "I am most proud of the incredibly talented young people who have accessed life-changing educational opportunities at some of the nation’s most rigorous college preparatory schools,” Ms. Timmons said.  "Without A Better Chance, many of them would have been overlooked and possibly left behind.  At a time when social and economic mobility is declining in many communities of color, these young people are firmly on the path to future leadership.”   

“Sandra has been integral to the critical advances we have made, particularly in the areas of resource development, collaboration and growth," said Theo Killion, Retired Chief Executive Officer, Zale Corporation; A Better Chance Alumnus (The Hill School, 1970); and National Board of Directors Chair-Elect. “The momentum she created positions us nicely to increase impact as we build a diverse pipeline of future leaders."  

A Better Chance has partnered with Heidrick & Struggles, the leadership advisory and executive search firm to identify the next leader of A Better Chance.  Applications and nominations are now being considered at  Ms. Timmons is committed to a seamless transition and will remain until a new president is named. Kurt Van Wagenen, President & CEO, FirstLight Fiber and A Better Chance National Board of Directors Chair will complete his term in December 2019 and continue as Immediate Past Chair through 2020.  Mr. Killion will succeed Mr. Van Wagenen as National Board of Directors Chair in January 2020.   

About A Better Chance 

A Better Chance’s mission is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.  Since 1963, this guiding principle has driven A Better Chance to place talented young people of color into the leadership pipeline through increased access to academically rigorous secondary schools.  Its signature College Preparatory Schools Program annually recruits, prepares and places more than 550 new Scholars and supports a total of 2,200 Scholars at more than 300 of the nation’s leading college preparatory schools across the country.  Its record of success is evident in 16,000+ Alumni who have become great innovators, thinkers and leaders in their respective fields.  To learn more, visit