Message from the Executive Director


New Partnership with DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative 

I'm delighted to announce our partnership with DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI). Based in Kenilworth-Parkside in Ward 7 and part of a nation-wide initiative modeled after Harlem Children's Zone, DCPNI brings service providers together to ensure the well-being of the neighborhood's children and families. Though this partnership, Fair Chance will provide six-month Pathways Program engagements to two nonprofit organizations in DCPNI's network. 

Fair Chance has selected both 
Chase Your Dreams Academy and FRESHH Inc. Theatre Company for a Pathways engagement. Both organizations will work with Fair Chance to increase the knowledge, skills, and confidence of executive leadership while strengthening their organizational performance and practices.


Chase Your Dreams Academy aims to facilitate positive transformation in high need and underserved youth through a holistic approach that includes character enrichment, sports, and nutrition. 

FRESHH Inc. Theatre Company cultivates and celebrates the voices of black women and girls by teaching civic engagement, self-awareness, and cultural awareness though theater. 

On Monday, June 20, representatives from Fair Chance and DCPNI hosted an orientation and kick-off meeting for the two groups at Fair Chance alumni partner Healthy Babies Project, Inc. Perennial Transitional House for homeless teen parents. Fair Chance is thrilled to be partnering with DCPNI on their important work for the children, youth, and families of Ward 7.

Yours in service,

Gretchen Van der Veer, PhD

What's New

38th Annual Dubliner Golf Classic 

On Monday, June 27, 140 golfers came out to Glenn Dale Golf Club for the 38th Annual Dubliner Golf Classic. When the host of the Tournament Daniel Coleman finished his round, someone jokingly asked him, "who won?"  He replied without missing a beat, "Fair Chance!" 

We couldn't agree more. With the help of the entire Coleman Family, our golfers and sponsors, the tournament rose a NEW RECORD of nearly $65,000! So from all of us here at Fair Chance – a heartfelt “Thank you!” for making the 2016 tournament a tremendous success! We would also like to give a special shout-out to Gavin Coleman for his hard work, especially behind the scenes.

Mark Your Calendar


July 14

August 17
Free Minds Book Club
On the Same Page: Write Night

November 16 - 18
Independent Sector
Independent Sector Annual Conference 2016
"New Frontiers"

** Fair Chance Partners and Alumni, contact Erica Johnson at for a discount code. Special rate ends July 10!**


Partner Highlights

Dennis Chestnut, Groundwork Anacostia River DC Executive Director, has been appointed by Mayor Bowser to Urban Forestry Advisory Committee and will be inducted at the Board and Commission Appointee Convocation on Thursday, June 23, 2016. Groundwork Anacostia River DC also kicked off the 5th year of the National Award winning Urban Archeology Corps summer youth program. through the program, eleven local youth have been employed for 7 weeks for  learning, researching, and developing skills in archeology and community engagement.

The Fly By Light youth program run by One Common Unity was featured on ABC7 by Kellye Lynn. This news story interviews some of the students in the program and provides an inside look their experiences. Click here to view the clip.

On Wednesday, June 8, Amiya Hillard’s family and fellow students gathered at J.O. Wilson Elementary School in northeast Washington, DC as Hillard was honored with the prestigious Wyndham Vacation Ownership Tom Lewis Student of the Year Award.  Hillard was chosen out of over 400 students The Fishing School (TFS) serves at four sites across the District. The recipient of the Wyndham Vacation Ownership Tom Lewis Student of the Year Award receives a two-night vacation stay in the four-bedroom Presidential Reserve Unit at Wyndham Vacation Resorts at National Harbor, including restaurant vouchers for local restaurants and a ride on the Capital Wheel for the winner and family members.

Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Apen, Colorado about the expansion and success their award-winning project, On the Same Page UNITED. They also shared ideas to reform the criminal justice system and met with leaders and funders in the field. 
Leshell Hatley, Founder and Executive Director of Uplift, Inc. graduated with her Ph.D. in Learning Technologies this past May. She and her team will spend the summer updating their STEAM curriculum and will offer exciting new classes this Fall.

Tyler Spencer, The Grassroot Project Founder and President, was featured on ABC7 WJLA to discuss HIV, access to care, treatment, and how The Grassroot Project has had an impact in DC communities. Click here to watch the clip.

What We're Listening To

"Why Local Nonprofits Haven't Fixed Poverty" - The Kojo Nnamdi Show 
"In D.C., Maryland and Virginia there are more than 14,000 nonprofits aimed at easing the strain of poverty or eliminating it all together. Yet, the problem stubbornly remains. We explore what poverty looks like in our region, and why — despite countless man hours, thousands of mission-based organizations, and billions of dollars– poverty still exists in our region."

Thank You! 

Thank you to Regine Elie and Healthy Babies Project, Inc. for providing conference space for the Pathways Program Orientation.

Thank you to the Coleman family for hosting the Dubliner Golf Classic Tournament benefitting Fair Chance, and to our golfers and sponsors who supported the event.

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