HARTFORD — As the future rises up to greet her, Atesha Gifford has options.
Atlanta. Austin, Texas. Maybe even return to Hartford for a job.
These are the opportunities that the daughter of Jamaican immigrants says she owes to Hartford Youth Scholars, the nonprofit that recruited her as a precocious middle-schooler from the city's North End, steered her to boarding school in Simsbury, then kept close tabs as she spent the last four years in sunny Florida, working toward a bachelor's degree in marketing.
The nearly decade-long investment is coming full circle. Gifford, as a 12-year-old, told The Courant in the summer of 2007: "I'm trying to break the chain in...