Thank you for attending the 2023 Fall Benefit Dinner!

Chairperson's Award Honoree

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Martin H. Nesbitt Senior Partner, Co-Chairman, & Co-Chief Executive Officer

The Vistria Group

Marty Nesbitt is a founding Partner and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Vistria, LLC, a private investment firm focused on building market leading companies in the healthcare, knowledge & learning, and financial services industries. From 1998 to 2012, Mr. Nesbitt served as President and CEO of TPS Parking Management, LLC (dba The Parking Spot), an owner and operator of off-airport parking facilities. Mr. Nesbitt conceptualized and co-founded The Parking Spot with Penny Pritzker and was responsible for running all strategic and operating aspects of the company. Prior to launching The Parking Spot, Mr. Nesbitt was an officer of the Pritzker Realty Group, L.P. (“PRG”), the real estate group primarily responsible for Pritzker family business interests. Prior to joining PRG, Mr. Nesbitt was an Equity Vice President and Investment Manager at LaSalle Partners with a variety of responsibilities, including investment management for regional retail properties and management and leasing for office projects and parking. Mr. Nesbitt currently serves on the Board of Directors of CareMetx, ForwardLine Financial, Help at Home, Media Source, Treliant, Vanta Education and is a Trustee of the University of Phoenix. He also serves on the Board of Directors of CenterPoint Energy, Chewy, Inc. and American Airlines Group. Mr. Nesbitt is a Trustee of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, a Trustee of Rush University Medical Center and serves as Chairman of the Barack Obama Foundation. He is a former member of The University of Chicago Laboratory School Board, former Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Housing Authority and a former board member of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee. Mr. Nesbitt has been active in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and has served as Chairman of the DuSable District of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Nesbitt was the national treasurer of President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Mr. Nesbitt received a B.A. degree and honorary doctorate from Albion College and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Founder's Award Honoree

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Linda Carter Griffith Associate Head of School for Equity, Inclusion and Wellness 

Phillips Academy

Linda Carter Griffith is the Associate Head of School for Equity, Inclusion, and Wellness at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. Linda first started at Phillips Academy in 1986 as an English teacher in the (MS)2 (Math and Science for Minority Students) program, a summer program that advances diversity in the STEM fields by developing the competencies and self-confidence of outstanding high school students of color. She joined the full-time faculty in 1990 as an instructor in English, assistant basketball coach, and house counselor. Prior to her appointment as the school’s first Assistant Head for Equity and Inclusion in 2015, followed by a promotion to Associate Head in 2018, Griffith served as Dean of Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD). In CAMD, she developed programming to raise awareness and encourage understanding of differences in race, gender, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, geographical origin, and sexual orientation. She currently teaches in the Theatre and Dance Department. Griffith served as a residential Dean for 10 years, helped develop the Life Issues curriculum (social-emotional education program), and taught in the summer African Institute in Kenya and Tanzania through the International Academic Partnership. Her commitment to underserved students began when she spent summers working for MIT’s Upward Bound Program. While teaching at Boston Latin School, Griffith also worked as the Associate Director of Project LASER (Learning Activities for Science and Engineering Readiness) at Emmanuel College. She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.Ed. from Cambridge College. She also serves on the TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) Board and is a former Board member at the Andover ABC House.

Scholar Award Recipients

Ahlanna Jackson The Judith Berry Griffin Award

Ahlanna Jackson

St. Timothy's School

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.

Malachi Neal The Nancy J. Lucas Memorial Award

Malachi Neal

Friends Select School

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

Skylar Maier


The Hockaday School

Colby Wilson

Colby Wilson

Menlo School

Academic Achievement Award

Ari Marrero

Ari Marrero

Whitefield Academy

Gabrielle Erawoc

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Andover A Better Chance

Ivory Wang

Ivory Wang

Friends Seminary

Julian Reyes

Julian Reyes

Friends Seminary

Kennedy Academia

Kennedy Academia

International High School

Nasir Young

Nasir Headshot

New Roads School

Benefit Committee

A Better Chance thanks the following individuals who devoted their time, and talent to ensuring our 60th anniversary is as exceptional as possible!

Committee Chair

  • Danielle & Mitch Lee*
  • Gerald Keefe
  • Laurie & Peter Allan Atkins
  • Malik Ducard* & Althea Beaton Ducard
  • Martine Ferland
  • Rob Fullerton
  • Roxanna & Kurt J. Van Wagenen
  • Sheila Marmon Heuer* & Steve Heuer
  • Theo Killion*  
  • Tim McChristian* and Deborah Steer 

Committee Co-Chair

  • Allison Lawrence 
  • Lawrence J. Richardson*
  • Matthew & Alena Sachs  
  • Stanley Black & Decker
  • 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. We thank the following individuals, Alumni* and institutional and corporate partners who made significant contributions to 60 years of Opening Doors.

Presenting Sponsor

  • Stefan Kaluzny and Sycamore Partners
  • Xerox

Summa Cum Laude Sponsor

  • Danielle & Mitch Lee*
  • Deval Patrick*
  • DLA Piper
  • Elevance Health
  • GCM Grosvenor
  • Gerald Keefe
  • Kirkland & Ellis
  • Kip and Sara Kirkpatrick
  • Malik Ducard* & Althea Beaton Ducard
  • Mercer
  • Northern Trust
  • Laurie & Peter Allan Atkins
  • Loop Capital
  • Rob Fullerton
  • Roxanna & Kurt J. Van Wagenen
  • Sheila Marmon Heuer* & Steve Heuer
  • Skadden
  • Stanley Black and Decker
  • State Street
  • Theo Killion*
  • Tim McChristian* & Deborah Steer
  • Ventas, Inc.

Dean’s List Package

  • Amgen
  • Blue Shield Blue Cross of Alabama
  • Health Care Service Corporation
  • LightRiver Technologies 
  • Michelle Collins
  • Modern Executive Solutions
  • Tom Kartsotis
  • Unum Group

60th Anniversary Sponsor

  • Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis, Jr.* 
  • The Vistria Group

Cum Laude Sponsor

  • Allison Lawrence
  • American Airlines
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
  • CVS
  • Deloitte
  • GenNx360 Capital Partners, LLC
  • Herbert Mines Associates
  • Marsh McLennan
  • Morgan Stanley
  • The National Advisory Council
  • Teneo
  • The Hartford
  • UPS
  • Voya Financial

Salutatorian Ticket

  • Brown Advisory
    • Jonathan Gardner*
  • Gennell & Genia Jefferson
  • Donald Willets Torey
  • Mansueto Foundation
  • Michelle Gittens
  • Mona Sutphen
  • Rhonda Trotter