Minority Student ‘Host’ Program Has Lasting Benefits

Post a Comment » Written on January 14th, 2009     
Filed under: News
WILTON, CT (January 14, 2009) – One weekend a month and every Sunday, Adrienne Reedy and her family have an additional member.

Fifteen-year-old Elija has been part of the family since 2007 since they were connected through the nonprofit organization A Better Chance of Wilton (ABC). The organization recruits minority high school students from underprivileged school areas to live together in a residential house in Wilton, an upscale community, and attend the local high school.
Many of the students have gone on to enter schools such as Brown University and Boston College.

The students are matched with “host families” for the span of their high school careers. “It’s just been wonderful,” Reedy says of the match. “Whatever we do, Elija does as part of the family.”

The rest of the family – husband, Steve, and sons Terrence (16), Calvin (13) and Quinn (10) – look forward to their time with Elija, Reedy says. It was Terrence who suggested the idea of becoming a host family.

Reedy serves as director of development for the organization. Although ABC has no religious connections, Reedy views being a host family as a ministry.

For Reedy, who attends Covenant Church of Easton (15 miles away) and has traveled around the world singing gospel, being a host family is a new opportunity to share her faith. “For years, I have been so busy doing ministry at the church,” she says. “When I took a step back, it gave me more time to be more intentional about serving in the community.”

Her latest involvement has included arranging a large benefit concert for ABC that features North Park University professor and internationally recognized composer Rollo Dilworth.

The “I Dream a World” concert on January 24 will feature his “Trilogy of Dreams” composition. “Trilogy” received critical acclaim and a standing ovation when it was premiered in January 2006 by the Boston Children’s Chorus at Boston’s New England Conservatory. Robin Roberts of ABC Television’s Good Morning America hosted the event.

The concert will combine 200 children from the choruses of local middle and high schools. The gospel choir from Drexel University in Philadelphia also will perform.

The concert already has become an educational tool for the local elementary school, Reedy says. The music is based on three Langston Hughes poems: “The Dreamkeeper,” “Dreams,” and “I Dream a World.” The students read the poems and created artwork inspired by the pieces.

Tickets for the event are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Premier-grade tickets at $150 per person will include a post-concert reception. For further information, email Genia Meinhold.

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