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Wellesley A Better Chance Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Wellesley A Better Chance (ABC) celebrated 50 years of service to the Wellesley community in a joyous celebration held at the Wellesley Village Church on October 1, 2022. Nearly 150 guests joined ABC alumnae, current Wellesley ABC scholars, their families, and Wellesley ABC supporters to reflect upon 50 years of strengthening our Wellesley High School (WHS) community and representing WHS values in action.

Featured speakers included Rebecca Vazquez, WHS Class of 1974 and the first Wellesley High School ABC graduate. Vazquez is a graduate of Wesleyan University and serves as the Vice President of Business Affairs at HBO Inc. in New York, NY. She was joined by Andrea Pettaway, WHS Class of 1988, who holds a BA from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Illinois. Pettaway is the HR Business Partner – Global Technology at McDonald’s Corporation in Chicago, IL.

Other notable Wellesley ABC alumnae include the award-winning writer, educator and social activist Vanessa Martir (WHS Class of 1993, BA Columbia University). On Wednesday, October 12 Martir will be a panelist in the Wellesley Library program “Roots and Wings: Wellesley High School’s Legacy of Nurturing Creativity.” The program will begin at 7:00 PM in the Wakelin Room of Wellesley Library and online via Zoom. Registration is available here.

“Wellesley ABC and its outstanding scholars have made an incredible impact upon the Wellesley community since the program began in 1972,” said Wellesley ABC President Catherine Ward. “Over 80 scholars have graduated from WHS, 99% attended a four-year college or university, and 27 have obtained postgraduate or professional degrees.”

“In addition, each scholar has made an indelible contribution to the WHS academic community – including two scholars who were voted Senior Cup winners,” added Ward. “We are so proud of each one of our Wellesley ABC scholars and alumnae, their families and host families, and we look forward to our next 50 years of impact.”

In honor of the 50th Anniversary, the Wellesley Select Board issued a proclamation of congratulations which was read by Beth Sullivan Woods, Member of the Wellesley Select Board. Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner which was generously prepared by Chef Gary Arthur and The Village Table.

The mission of Wellesley ABC is to increase the number of well educated women of color assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society. ABC is a national scholarship organization with independent programs directed and supported by local communities around the country.

Since 1972 Wellesley ABC has opened doors to greater educational opportunities for academically talented and promising young women of color. These scholars attend Wellesley High School and live in a family style home with tutoring, meals, medical and social/emotional support. The program is overseen by a resident director and tutor, and an army of volunteers.

A list of Universities attended and professions pursued by Wellesley ABC alumnae can be seen here. The slide show presentation from the 50th anniversary celebration can be seen here. For more information or to volunteer to support Wellesley ABC, visit or email


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