Hello, Goodbye

Lisa Brady (l) and Lynn Prendergast (r) at our May 8th end-of-year celebration.

Lisa Brady (l) and Lynn Prendergast (r) at our May 8th end-of-year celebration.


Guilford ABC is thrilled to welcome Lynn Prendergast as our new Resident Director. Beginning this July, Lynn will replace our long term and wonderful RD, Lisa Brady. We are so fortunate that Lynn brings attributes and skills that fit in perfectly with our organization.

An experienced teacher and mentor-teacher, Lynn has worked in the Madison middle and elementary schools since 1992. For many years she served as a team leader and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about child and teen development, problem solving, language arts and computer science. Lynn is also the mother of a daughter beginning college in September.

Lynn was first introduced to ABC when she taught two of our scholars how to drive and they brought her to the Board’s attention. As everyone knows, teaching a teenager how to drive requires a firm, consistent and unflappable demeanor. Combined with her other qualifications, these traits will stand her in excellent stead.


ABC has been truly blessed to have Lisa Brady as our resident director for the past six years. Her gifts to our students have been many and invaluable. She has brought to this critical job a combination of compassion, common sense, humor, consistency and love for the six scholars who come together to live as a family while attending Guilford High School. Lisa has maintained an open door policy which encourages each scholar to develop an individual relationship with her, sharing good times and bad with a true mother figure.

For 12 years, Lisa has been a teacher at the ACES Village School in North Haven, itself a full-time and difficult job. Yet, she returns to the ABC house each day, eager to share in the lives of the scholars, to offer encouragement, solace, and, when necessary, a firm hand and serious goal setting. She, more than anyone on the board, knows many details of each of the scholar’s lives.

Lisa feels grateful for the hard-working ABC board on whom she relies for counsel and individual expertise. She sees the board as an extension of the ABC family – and the board sees her as the key link in our ability to provide a warm yet academically rigorous environment for the scholars. We have been lucky to have such a fine role model in this critical position.

In June Lisa will start a new chapter in her life with her fiancé, Bob Swift. They both acknowledge that Guilford ABC and its scholars will remain an important part of their life together. We wish them much happiness, and look forward to their visits ‘back home’ to see the girls, share a meal, and catch up on all the latest news.


From Our Graduating Seniors…


Jada Allison

“Being a Guilford A Better Chance scholar has been pivotal to my development as a student and individual. I vividly remember driving to Guilford to start my freshman year. I had no idea what I would endure and experience being away from home, and I quickly realized homesickness would be a daily part of my life for the first couple of months. However, as an ABC scholar I found a built-in support system including my GABC sisters, our resident director, Lisa, my host family, the Glassers, and my board advisors. I thank them for being my support and cheerleaders from freshman year to now. This program has broadened my view of life in so many ways. Coming from a big city to a small suburban town was difficult, but I grew to love the quiet nights, walks to the Green, bike rides around town, and trips to Ashley’s. Throughout my years at Guilford High School, I became passionate about clubs such as CARE and Unity and discovered my love for theater arts. Despite the struggles, the rules and the image we have to uphold as an ABC student, this program has taught me to be independent, adaptable and appreciative.
    ABC exposed me to the world outside of my comfort zone - from living in Guilford to having the opportunity to travel throughout the country and study abroad. With the help of GABC supporters, I raised money to travel to South Africa with the Experiment in International Living after my junior year. This month-long journey included visiting Cape Town and Robben Island, staying with a host family in Kwanokuthula and spending a few days at The African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg. In addition, I participated in three national ABC college tours which allowed me venture into new states, connect with scholars from across the country and visit over 50 colleges. I am pleased to say I will be furthering my education at Wellesley College in the Class of 2022.
    We’ve all heard the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” — and it certainly does. I give a special thanks to my family, ABC and Guilford for being a part of that village which has helped mold me into the young woman I am becoming.”

Dorcas Saka

“Going through high school as a Guilford ABC scholar is not a chance given to most. It’s an opportunity that has opened me up in many different ways. Coming to Guilford freshman year, I instantly felt support from board members, advisors, the girls, and Lisa, the resident director. It has been an uplifting and eye-opening experience as I watched the older girls, whom I admired, working hard, discovering their passions, and getting into college. While the small town of Guilford was a difficult adjustment after New York, I grew to appreciate the quietness, ability to see the stars, and the Guilford spirit. Guilford quickly became home; the girls became sisters; Lisa became another mom; and my host family, the Goldbergs, and my board advisors became a part of my new family.
    Though being a Guilford ABC scholar was not always the easiest, I am grateful for the opportunities that the town of Guilford and its residents have provided me: joining the tennis team, going skiing for the first time, trying new foods (thanks to our cook, Jean), and travelling to Peru and India. It’s bittersweet to think that soon Guilford will no longer be ‘home’. However, the people I have met, the times of laughter and joy, the times of exhaustion and crying, the late nights, baking, and movie nights and so many more memories are things that I will never forget. I’m beyond proud to be a Guilford ABC scholar and amazed at how quickly these four years have gone.
    This summer I will continue my travel adventures as I study Arabic in Jordan for six weeks through National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y). Upon my return, I will be attending Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. I am both excited and nervous about this new chapter of my life. Guilford ABC has provided me with immense opportunities and has helped me flourish in many ways. During my past four years, I have learned a lot, laughed a lot, built a lot, and gained so many new relationships that I cherish. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for every unforgettable memory, every bond, every ride, every trip, and most importantly for all the new sisters that I have gained. I look forward to whatever the future may hold.” t


9th Annual MJ Petretto Golf Classic


Today is the last day to sign up for the 9th Annual M.J. Petretto Foundation Golf Classic, from which a portion of the proceeds benefit Guilford ABC. Singles and duos welcome as well as foursomes at the Clinton Country Club. $220/per person includes lunch, golf, happy hour with cash bar, dinner, prizes and awards. Proceeds benefit local non-profits including Guilford ABC. For more information or to sign up to play on behalf of Guilford ABC, email contact@mjpfoundation.org.

Click here for more about the event.



Please take three minutes to help Guilford ABC during the 36 hours of 2018 The Great Give!


  • On May 1-May 2, starting at 8AM on May 1, go to the Guilford ABC page on The Great Give website (click here).
  • Our donation site will come up with a “Donate” button. Make a donation to us and/or to any of the great participating nonprofit organizations in greater New Haven.
  • You will have 36 hours to make your donation. All giving will end at 7:59PM on May 2.

You also can go online anytime and make a donation in advance.

Guilford ABC is an exceptional organization! We hope you’ll take this opportunity to help us keep this program moving forward, lessening the educational divide for promising young scholars of color.

Thank you in advance for your support.


Thank you for supporting the Guilford ABC Mo Pleasure Concert!

Thank you for supporting the Guilford ABC-Mo Pleasure Concert! Grateful to all the volunteers who helped make this event such a success. Mo shared a great night and amazing musical journey.... a wonderful career with renowned artists from around the world!Morris Pleasur, we congratulate you on being the first inductee to GHS Hall of Fame for Arts and Sciences-well deserved! Proud to call Guilford home. Photo by Judy Barbosa, Guilford resident and friend of Mo. (Watch for more photos, coming soon!) #guilfordabc #onevoice #mopleasure

Mo Pleasure Friday Night Reception

Guilford ABC hosted a Friday night reception at Anthony's in Guilford, where we welcomed Morris Pleasure and his wife Lori Pleasure who is an ABC Alumni.  With anticipation for the upcoming concert, the ABC scholars enjoyed an evening of mingling with ABC board members, Hole in the Wall staff, ABC staff and various supporters of our program. It was a nice evening to introduce the scholars and for them to meet and greet our guests!  (Photos by Judy Barbosa) #GuilfordABC  #mopleasureconcert  #abetterchance


Mo Pleasure Benefit Concert, March 24


Tickets are now on sale for the eagerly-awaited Mo Pleasure Concert to benefit Guilford A Better Chance.

After sold out concerts in 2014 and 2016, Guilford ABC is excited to have our hometown musician return for this much-anticipated community event on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 7:30pm in the Performing Arts Center of the Guilford High School.

Mention the name Morris Pleasure and you immediately think Ray Charles, Roberta Flack, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Michael Jackson. But locally we know him as Mo, raised here in Guilford. His father, Robert Pleasure, was the long-time principal of the A.W. Cox Elementary School and one of the founders of Guilford ABC. Mo met his future wife, Lori Harris Pleasure, when she arrived from Cleveland, Ohio, in the second year of the Guilford ABC program. In 2009, in the spirit of giving back to his community, Mo produced the first of a series of concerts which today attracts more than 600 fans for this exciting shoreline event that directly benefits Guilford ABC. The concert brings nationally renowned musicians to perform alongside Mo.

Now in its 44th year, Guilford ABC — A Better Chance —is dedicated to helping close the opportunity gap for academically talented minority students from educationally disadvantaged communities. Guilford ABC prepares its scholars to succeed academically and to take leadership roles in all their future endeavors. Guilford became one of the nation’s earliest ABC public school programs and is currently one of 27 public-school, community-based programs nationally. Today, six young women live in the Guilford ABC House during the academic year with a resident director and resident tutor. Our Board of Directors offers guidance and support to our scholars, as do many volunteers in our community. Our scholars not only develop confidence and leadership as they work on a college-track over four years, but also prepare as active, effective contributors and leaders to society. More than 70 Guilford ABC scholars have graduated from Guilford High School and gone on to successfully complete college as a direct result of our community’s support and effort!

Guilford ABC is funded entirely by donations, an annual appeal, revenue from the Hole in the Wall consignment shop, and this Mo Pleasure Benefit Concert.

Click here to order your tickets today!

For more information about tickets and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marie Berry, marieberry5@comcast.net.