Statement from A Better Chance President & CEO

Dear A Better Chance Community,

We are living through a difficult time for our country. As I write this note, I am sending healing, hopeful thoughts to all of you and your loved ones. I have had difficulty putting into words the grief and anger I have felt.

As a Black and Latinx man, I know that the violence and injustice that we’ve witnessed could have happened to me or someone I love.  It is an ebb and flow of emotions that I am sure that many of us are grappling with as there have been far too many examples in our history of Black lives—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others—cut short. Countless manifestations of systemic inequity that dim opportunities and futures for People of Color.

These are the moments when we embrace our loved ones a little tighter. We look for opportunities to lend our voice to the chorus demanding change as we also try to find ways to cope with our pain, anger and sadness.

If 2020 has put anything into sharper focus for me, it has been the importance of leadership. As former President Barack Obama noted in his virtual commencement address to the Class of 2020 a few weeks ago, the world is in need of a new generation of leaders grounded in lasting values of “honesty, hard work, responsibility, fairness, generosity, respect for others … alive to one another’s struggles …” in order to realize a better world.

It is why the mission, legacy and work of A Better Chance is vital. The seeds of hope are in the talented young people that it is our honor and privilege to serve each year as they embark on a path towards leadership that our country sorely needs. Worlds of possibility can be found in our strong Alumni community who are leading in so many arenas of our society. There is so much work still to be done, but I personally find strength from being a part of spurring the change in our country that is long overdue.

Each of you have a role to play in fostering the future generations of leaders in our nation. A Better Chance is identifying talent with the potential to become a force of positive change in the years to come. With their leadership, I believe we can make our world a better place for all. Together, with your help, we can build a future based on a shared vision of equality. 

We invite you to share your feelings with A Better Chance at inquiries@abetterchance.org. We want to hear your thoughts as we identify opportunities to convene and bring the A Better Chance community together, both around these critical issues and to identify where we can help enact positive, systemic change. As members of the A Better Chance community, I hope you similarly derive strength and resolve from furthering our mission as part of a larger movement towards equality, equity and justice.

In Service,

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Francisco Tezén
President & CEO