Decked out in a red Ecko Unlimited T-shirt, baggy jeans, and a pair of Jordans, Adam Farward drops one shot after another from outside the paint through the basketball hoop. As he runs off the gym floor at Masconomet Regional High School, he boasts: “You’re looking at the future of the NBA.”
Farward is one of five minority students attending high school in Topsfield as part of A Better Chance, a residential program for academically talented youth from underserved communities often plagued by drugs and violence. At many other high schools, Farward and his fellow ABC classmates would blend right in, but Masco is not exactly the United Nations.
ABC plucks some of the best and brightest from urban areas and offers them a chance to live in places such as Topsfield and enroll in college preparatory high schools and boarding schools. Masco has been involved with ABC since 1973 and has graduated 60 students, all male because of housing limitations. It is the only public school in the northern suburbs involved in the program.
Kenneth Karas is a typical, high-achieving Masco senior. He’s a standout on the school’s varsity wrestling team, an award-winning artist, and he has dreams that include becoming a doctor. Karas is in the midst of that nervous time waiting for offers of admission to college. He has his heart set on attending Northeastern.