Lowell doesn’t have a program on the horizon, but John Schneider — a resident and member of the statewide Advisory Council of Democrats for Education Reform — floated the idea of the Lowell Promise in the local newspaper in July 2015.
He wrote of the Promise he envisioned: “Every student who graduates from the city’s public schools will be academically and financially prepared to earn a diploma from either Middlesex Community College or UMass Lowell. Under the Lowell Promise, private dollars will act as an incentive, with public matching dollars committed to the Promise as an incentive for private investors.”
Incorporated in 1826, Lowell is called the “Cradle of the American Industrial Revolution,” but that industry did not last forever and Lowell — which sits the confluence of the Merrimack and Concord rivers — needs a jolt of innovation like many places.
Among the unique elements of Lowell is its large Southeast Asian immigrant population. Perhaps 20,000 Cambodians live in the city and the Cambodian government opened its third U.S. Consular Office in Lowell in 2009, joining Seattle, Wash., and Long Beach, Calif.
Lowell has embraced a new culture, which includes the Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival each August and the efforts to make the city’s Little Cambodia neighborhood a tourist destination.
Another tourist stop is Jack Kerouac Park, named for the hometown beat generation author who used Lowell as the backdrop of many of his novels.