Who are we?


The mission of ABW is to transform the community (Ashley Park and the surrounding areas) and its families through its youth (K-12); by holistically (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) developing children who are able to achieve their personal best academically, so they may become productive citizens who give back to their community through the use of their skills and talents.

Our History

A Better World (ABW) was born out of a heart that is burdened to help the under resourced. In January 2001, with the help of Forest Hill Church and many others, we started an After-School program to improve the lives of the downtrodden, and give a sense of community to our neighbors. As is often the case with children who come from broken homes, affected by single-parent rearing and impoverished conditions, children lack a strong identity with role models.

We started the program operating two days a week with only eight kids enrolled, providing just juice, snacks (crackers, chips, etc.) and the opportunity to go to Disney World. Those eight students did go to Disney World, and they all graduated high school. They are all hard-working productive citizens.

Our Purpose

The purpose of A Better World is to provide 55 disadvantaged youth with homework assistance, tutoring, mentoring, and a hot meal 5 days a week. Children and their families are also provided with access to counseling, toiletries, and home-good products. Education is our first priority. Our program offers multiple learning styles because we understand that each student learns differently. For example some are auditory, others are kinesthetic or visual. The success of our program can in part be attributed to this approach. A Better World keeps these children off the toughest streets of Ashley Park and Westchester communities, and away from the negative influence of gangs and juvenile violence. As a result, their grades improve, their confidence grows, and they get a new positive direction in their life. Your support ensures that these great kids can actualize their full potential.

Our Board of Directors

Ken Gilliard
Founder & Executive Director
Board of Directors 2016

Dean Purvis

Caroline Dudley

Wendy Smolen

Sandy Nicholson


Greg Clewis

William G. Hester

Yvette Parsons

Laura Gennings

Cathy Purvis

Leslie Kincheloe

Bill Lippincott

Shelly Smith


Dean Lovett

Advisory Members

Marty Conte

David Riggins

Robert Riggins

Gordon Thornton

John Gennings