As soon as the Clinton freshman from the ABC House settled in Kelly Landry’s car, she peppered him with questions.
What did he like to eat? What did he enjoy for drinks? What did he want to do on Sundays?
Landry elicited from him that he liked fruit punch. Off to the store they went before getting to the Landry’s home, as Kelly tried to learn just what kind of fruit punch the young man liked.
“My son came up to me and said, Mom, please stop,’’ she said of the memory of 10 years ago. “He said, Mom, he just wants to chill at the house and watch the NFL with me.’’
Landry said that was a pivotal moment, when she realized the freshman coming to their house on weekends wouldn’t be a guest, but a part of the family. That it remains so years after he graduated, through birthday and Mother’s Day texts, and keeping in touch, speaks to the bond boys who come through Clinton’s ABC House and all they meet form during their time here.
The ABC House, short for A Better Chance of Clinton and the Mohawk Valley, began in the community 50 years ago. It remains one of 22 such programs in the country.
Each year up to eight boys of color, two per high school grade, come to Clinton as part of their family’s effort to provide a better education than they could get in their hometowns. Boys start the program in their freshman year and return through graduation at Clinton Central School four years later.
The program is a partnership with the school district, community and Hamilton College. The ABC House, where the boys…