The Pittsburgh Promise is both a big idea and a bold promise. Its four promises are:
• to send all eligible urban youth to college or trade school with a scholarship
• to promote the reform of urban schools so that its young people are prepared for successful and meaningful lives
• to invest in the region’s workforce by preparing its next generation of workers
• to raise $250 million to get the work done
Since its inception, the City of Pittsburgh has seen a significant rise in its high school graduation rates and in the percentage of students heading to college after high school. More than 1,000 Promise-funded students have earned college degrees, but the Promise has continued make data-driven improvements.
Early in 2015, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured the efforts of ‘We Promise,’ a $200,000 Heinz Endowment program designed to assist black males in the school district to focus on confidence, motivation and time management. That initiative — established in 2013 — stated that boosting the number of black males eligible for Pittsburgh Promise was its primary goal.
Additionally — late last June — the Pittsburgh Promise partnered with the Community College of Allegheny County to provide post-secondary funds in certain career and technical fields while students are still in high school. This fall the offerings expanded into energy, advanced manufacturing and welding and computer technology.