Opening the door to greater educational opportunities since 1963.
MISSION ABC is a national organization dedicated to providing strong educational opportunities to students of color. The ABC goal is to increase the number of well-educated minority students and make it possible for deserving students to reach their full potential. Our Edina ABC chapter has been operating since 1972. In 2005 we reached a milestone and became the first ABC chapter to graduate 100 students.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does Edina ABC work?
Roughly 6 students participate in our program each year. We recruit highly motivated students of color from challenging environments across the country and bring them to our community for the academic school year. Our students usually enter the program as freshmen or sophomores and attend public school in Edina until they graduate. Edina ABC students make many sacrifices to achieve their goal. They are away from their biological families during the school year and return home during the winter holiday season and during the summer break. Edina ABC students follow a rigorous study schedule that includes nightly tutoring during the school week. The scholars complete rigorous advanced courses, and are required to participate in extracurricular and community service activities. Every Edina ABC student must maintain a minimum grade point average of a "B" or better.
The benefits to the students are tremendous. Edina ABC helps these students blossom into better academic scholars who are ready for the best academic colleges and universities in the USA. More than 99 percent of our graduates attend college and have enrolled in such outstanding institutions of higher learning as Brown University, Colgate, New York University, Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, and Stanford University, to name just a few.
Edina A Better Chance Foundation, Inc. (Edina ABC) is based in Edina, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota) and has operated since 1972. We are the first ABC chapter in the country to graduate 100 students and have been recognized as one of the leading ABC chapters in the country.
What do the scholars study?
Our students study the same things as other students attending Edina public schools. Our scholars often take advantage of AP (Advanced Placement) classes plus clubs, sports, and other activities that they probably wouldn’t have had a chance to take at their own schools.
Who runs the Edina ABC Program?
Ilse Akbar is the Executive Director and oversees the entire Edina ABC program. Our Executive Director is a full-time paid position. Our business office is at Edina High School and allows us a close daily connection to our students. A live-in Resident Director creates a family atmosphere. In addition, each student spends time with a host family on the weekends.
How are scholars selected?
The National ABC Office has relationships with high schools all over the country in an effort to identify scholars who might be suitable for the ABC program. Potential scholars who are recommended by counselors go through rigorous testing and interviews by the national representatives, and applications are then referred to the local ABC chapters based on their needs. Final admission decisions are made by member schools, not the national office.
How is the program funded?
Edina ABC relies on donations to pay all costs for students which include housing, food, transportation, etc...
What does it cost to run?
Relying on a large volunteer network allows us to keep costs low. The average cost to run the program is $175,000 per year.