Kendall O., A Better Chance Scholar at Lawrenceville School

Two poised runners in Lawrenceville uniform, one medium brown skin with long black braids, one light skin with short hair
A woman with medium brown skin and black hair in braids smiles, braids blowing in the wind as she stands on a balcony
Medium brown skinned person with long black braids, wearing green jacket and red shirt, gives a thumbs up and smiles
Kendall Onley stands in front of a building with an NYU banner on a sunny day
Black-and-white, Kendall Onley in mid-leap during a jumping event at a track-and-field meet
Kendall Onley in a white lab coat and green goggles, with other lab-coated students, as steam billows from a sink
Kendall Onley stands among a choir and sings while holding a choir book
Article with photo of Kendall Onley and the headline: Girls Tennis Defeats Blair
Close-up of medium brown skinned woman with wavy black hair, wearing valedictorian stole, speaking into a microphone
Kendall Onley gives a thumbs up, standing indoors holding a folded up scooter

Soprano, Journalist, Team Captain, Athlete, Cause-Organizer, and more.

 

Apply. Your life will change. Not only will you get into an amazing school, but you will have a family that will always have your back and makes sure that you have all of the resources necessary to succeed. Plus, it's fun. Trust me.

Kendall O.
Current Scholar at Lawrenceville School

How she thinks her life might have been different had she not become a Scholar

"I honestly believe that I would not have been able to attend Lawrenceville without A Better Chance," says Kendall. 

Prior to A Better Chance, Kendall's mother was against boarding schools in general, wary of a "prison for bad rich kids" sterotype, and Kendall herself didn't think boarding school was possible for people like her.  "It was one of those things that you saw on TV  that wasn't deemed plausible," she recalls.

Not only did learning more about the possibilities from A Better Chance change Kendall and her mother's minds, but it showed them how to pursue this new and interesting opportunity.  "With their mock interviews, SSAT strategy classes, and many other seminars, A Better Chance prepared me with the tools and resources necessary," she says.  "Before your 9th grade year (and even throughout your entire high school experience) A Better Chance holds seminars and workshops and all sorts of activities that teach you what to expect on high school campuses. Through the A Better Chance seminars, I learned how to deal with racism and micro-aggression. [Without it,] I would have been completely lost my first day and would have spent a lot more time adjusting, finding my confidence, and trying to teach myself the ways of high school instead of hitting the ground running right from the start."

Kendall ultimately received both offers of admission and scholarships to multiple member schools, and is proud to be attending The Lawrenceville School, which she notes is ranked in the top ten boarding schools nationally.  

Between the opportunities A Better Chance put in her path and what she's able to do at Lawrenceville, Kendall is confident she will be able to realize her goal of attending a top university.  "A Better Chance has not only changed my life for high school, but also my life following Lawrenceville," she says.

And that isn't all; "If not for A Better Chance," Kendall says, "I would not have received the opportunity to apply for several summer programs and internships. Last summer, I received a paid internship at the law firm Morris,Manning, & Martin, LLP. I was exposed to the real world of law and was able to meet amazing people like CEO of The Gathering Spot, Ryan Wilson, Supreme and Municipial Court judges, and many other successful lawyers. I was also able to participate in a mock trial in which I was told that I should definitely try out for my school's Mock Trial or Debate team. Without A Better Chance, I would not have been able to participte in such an amazing and life-changing program."

How A Better Chance has Changed Her Perspective and Motivated Her to Change the World

Kendall's A Better Chance experience, and the interactions she has had with Scholars at various private schools, prompted her to start a new organization to help them support each other.  

"I was able to experience and hear stories of the disparities many minorities face when it comes to education, resources, travel, and scholarships," she says. "Because of this, I now see the world through a different lens, which inspired me to create an organization called The Bridge and begin the formation of my own non-profit mentoring organization for girls of color, MentorMe... I am now able to pay forward everything I've learned and experienced to teach and help grow others in and from my community."  The Bridge is a student-run organization that works with the Financial Aid office at Lawrenceville to provide support for lower income, scholarship, or first-generation students.  

What Kendall Does Apart from her Studies, MentorMe, and The Bridge

Kendall currently serves as the regional editor for Africa in a Lawrenceville-affiliated publication called The Contour, which reports on current events in Africa, East Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East.  She also serves on Lawrenceville's Diversity Council and is a member of the Open Door Society, an organization of students individually selected by the Dean of Students that builds and maintains alumni-student relationships.  

Additionally, Kendall is Field Captain for both her Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams, is the top soprano for the Lawrentians (Lawrenceville's select choir), and plays Girls' Varsity Tennis.  She enjoys drawing and hanging out with her friends at her favorite pizza spot near school.  

 

 

Get to Know Yesterday's Scholars

Bonnie Jenkins, A Better Chance Alumna '78

Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Obama Administration, Lt. Commander in the US Naval Reserves, and Expert Peace Advocate whose work has touched most of the major conflicts of our times.