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'Mission Accomplished': College Dreams Come Alive For Hartford Youth Scholars

'Mission Accomplished': College Dreams Come Alive For Hartford Youth Scholars

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...

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