2022 Fall Benefit Dinner Diversity Leads

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With great pride, A Better Chance announces the 2022 Fall Benefit Dinner to be held at 583 Park Avenue (Park Avenue and 63rd Street in NYC) on October 24, 2022, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST!

Diversity Leads will bring together members of the A Better Chance Community for an evening event in support of making education more equitable and inclusive. With the opportunity to hear from our scholars and this year's honorees, Martine Ferland, President & CEO of Mercer and Vice Chair of Marsh McLennan & Alumna Nichol Whiteman, CEO of the LA Dodgers Foundation. This is an event you don't want to miss. Please join us!

A negative COVID test is required to attend.


583 Park Avenue (Park Avenue and 63rd Street, NYC)


October 24, 2022
6 p.m. to 9 p.m

Chairperson's Award Honoree

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Martine Ferland President & Chief Executive Officer


Vice Chair Marsh McLennan

Benjamin E. Mays Award Honoree

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Nichol Whiteman, Alumna Chief Executive Officer

Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Scholar Award Recipients

Isabella Lashley The Judith Berry Griffin Award

A Better Chance Judith Berry Scholar 2022 Isabella

Harvard Hometown: Fresh Meadows, NY

The Judith Berry Griffin Award, named for Judith Berry Griffin, President of A Better Chance from 1982–2003, carries with it a monetary award of $5,000 and is awarded to a senior who has shown exceptional and steadfast determination to achieve. The recipient demonstrates success through perseverance toward personal objectives, in spite of obstacles that might have impeded his or her progress.

Janae-Rose Fageyinbo The Nancy J. Lucas Memorial Award

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Yale Hometown: Matthews, NC

The Nancy J. Lucas Memorial Award was established in loving memory of our Senior Program Coordinator who served the New York Metro Area from 1985 to 2002. Ms. Lucas’s family, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sisters, A Better Chance colleagues, and countless Alumni who benefited from her services have endowed this award. The award, and the $3,500 that accompanies it, is given to a Scholar who demonstrates leadership in promoting equity and justice at his or her school or offers special encouragement to peers.

Visentin Scholar Award Recipients

Named for John Visentin, a dear friend of A Better Chance and the former President & CEO of Xerox. Mr. Visentin was a champion for the transformative power of education and innovation. In that spirit, this award is presented to two senior Scholars who have developed distinctive solutions to challenges faced by their school, community, or family and are interested in pursuing studies and careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Baron Walker

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Boston University Hometown: Smyrna, GA

Gabriela Espiritu

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Union College Hometown: South Euclid, OH

Academic Achievement Award

Claire Padilla

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Huntington Station, New York

Chenault Ellis

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Clifton, New York

Nolawit Elias

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Burtonville, Maryland

Skyler Holmgren-Lee

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San Francisco, California

Hannah Baumgardner

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Wayne, Pennsylvania

Osaru Uwa-Omede

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Rosedale, New York

Diversity Leads Benefit Dinner Committee

A Better Chance thanks the following individuals who devoted their time, and talent to ensuring this year's event is as exceptional as possible!

Dinner Chairs

  • Roger G. Arrieux, Jr.
  • Laurie and Peter Allan Atkins
  • Gennell Jefferson
  • Ellen and Rob Fullerton
  • Gerry Keefe
  • Theo Killion*
  • Sheila Marmon Heuer*
  • Kurt Van Wagenen

Dinner Co-Chairs

  • Ekene Ezulike
  • Michelle M. Gittens*
  • Allison Lawrence
  • Matthew and Alena Sachs
  • Anthony Shropshire*
  • Shea Manigo
  • Star McDade
  • The National Advisory Council

* denotes A Better Chance Alumni

Thank You To Our Sponsors

A Better Chance’s work is not possible without the generous support of our donors and partners who have made significant contributions to the 2022 A Better Chance Fall Benefit Dinner. 

Legacy Sponsor


Presenting Sponsor

Xerox Corporation

Valedictorian Sponsor

Nichol Whiteman
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

Magna Cum Laude Sponsor

CVS Health
Ernest Adams
Fitch Ratings
Merrill Lynch
Morgan Stanley
Sun Life
Vistria Group

Sponsors confirmed as of 10/4/22

Summa Cum Laude Sponsor

Costas Family Foundation
Elevance Health
State Street

Deans List Sponsor

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher

Salutatorian Sponsor

Tim McChristian* & Debbie Steer
Erv and Louise Shames