Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Better Chance Announces Theo Killion, CEO of Zale Corporation to Receive 2013 Dreambuilder Award

NEW YORK – A Better Chance, a national nonprofit that recruits academically talented and motivated students of color and guides them toward a variety of educational opportunities, announced that Theo Killion, Chief Executive Officer of Zale Corporation, will receive the 2013 A Better Chance DreamBuilder Award at the 50th Anniversary A Better Chance Awards Dinner to be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

As a teenager in West Virginia, Theo Killion was recruited by A Better Chance to matriculate at The Hill School, a small private college prep school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.   At The Hill School, Killion faced the greatest academic challenge of his life.  Classes were held six days a week, and the pace was grueling.  He was left back a year when he started and resented it, but in hindsight it was a wise decision because he then thrived.  After finishing The Hill School, Killion graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history and English. He stayed on to finish a master’s degree in education in 1975.

“Theo is an alum whose journey exemplifies A Better Chance’s mission and impact.   He’s someone whose talent may have been overlooked -- but A Better Chance opened a door for him and he’s risen to the highest levels of leadership,” said Sandra E. Timmons, President, A Better Chance.  “Along the way, he has given back -- he is a longtime supporter and steadfast advocate of A Better Chance.   He also served on the National Board of A Better Chance for many years.   At every turn, he's been an exemplar of A Better Chance and its mission.”

The A Better Chance DreamBuilder Award was presented for the first time in 2005.  It is awarded to a leader who has demonstrated a commitment to helping gifted young people achieve their dreams, and whose talent, determination, hard work, optimism and leadership personify the attributes of A Better Chance Scholars.  Diana Taylor, former Superintendent of Banks for New York State was the first recipient of the DreamBuilder Award.  Other honorees include: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, professional athlete; Clarence Jones, Scholar in Residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute at Stanford University and A Better Chance Alumnus Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts.

Killion says, “The A Better Chance experience gave me confidence, a sense of identity and exposure to a world I never knew existed.”

Table and ticket reservations information for The 50th Anniversary A Better Chance Awards Dinner can be found at

A Better Chance ( is the oldest and only national organization of its kind changing the life trajectory for academically talented youth of color via access to rigorous and prestigious educational opportunities for students in grades 6-12.  Its mission is to increase substantially the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.   A Better Chance carries out its mission through its signature College Preparatory Schools Program (“CPSP”), which recruits, refers and supports about 500 Scholars at more than 300 member schools nationwide annually.   A Better Chance has been opening the doors to greater educational opportunities since 1963.  Since its inception, more than 13,000 alumni have been given an A Better Chance opportunity.   A Better Chance is headquartered in New York and has five regional offices.


A. Goodall said...

As my oldest daughter prepares to graduate from an A Beter Chance Partner School and my youngest daughter completes her 1st year of high school at another ABC Partner School, I am reading this announcement with a lot of joy. Mr. Killion's experience is the experience my daughters are having and I am thrilled that they are succeeding! A Better Chance is a fantastic organization that I proudly share my family's affiliation. Congratulations to Mr. Killion!

Tracey said...

Thank you for sharing and kudos to your daughters!