Career Campaign: Ready To Launch


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It’s by no means easy, but it was both important and inspiring. “It” was the third-annual New Haven Promise Internship Fair, co-hosted by the Yale Community Hiring Initiative.

On Thursday night more than 130 New Haven Promise Scholars gathered at Yale’s Payne Whitney Gym. With basketballs bouncing 20 feet below, the Scholars met with hiring managers from more than two dozen agencies in the first step toward landing a paid summer internship in their field of study.

More than half of the Scholars in attendance will land one of those coveted positions.

“Not only will this provide Promise Scholars about a quarter-million dollars to help cover college-going expenses,” said Executive Director Patricia Melton. “They will also gain valuable career experience and networking opportunities that will help them return to New Haven after they graduate from college. And we are extremely pleased to have new agencies, like Yale-New Haven Health, Centerplan Development, Marcum and the City of New Haven jumping in.”

The program has already launched one full-time career and will ultimately do the same for many more as Promise begins to build its alumni base.

erving-rayThe first full-time job that was a result of the Fair came to Teodoro Garcia, a 2015 graduate of the University of Connecticut. After serving an extended internship at the Yale School of Management, he landed a finance post at the School of Medicine last fall.

Both of those departments participated in the Fair along with a number of other Yale departments, such as the Art Gallery, the Center for British Art, Information Technology Services, Human Resources, Graduate Housing, Finance and the Police Department.

Another Promise graduate — Erving Xochipiltecatl (pictured) — was handling a new role at the Fair, working the table as a full-time employee of New Haven Public Schools, which plans to employ current Scholars this summer. Like Garcia, he was among New Haven Promise’s first class of graduates, earning his diploma from Quinnipiac University in the spring.

chris-patIn addition to the school district and New Haven Promise, several other businesses and organizations were looking to hire, including Teach For America, Southern Connecticut State University, Berchem Moses & Devlin Law, and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Melton and Yale’s Community Hiring Director Chris Brown (pictured) talked to the hiring managers after the event and they showed great enthusiasm for the Scholars they met and many discussed recruiting additional departments, businesses and organizations in the future.

A number of other agencies are expected to open positions in the coming months and the hope is to have more than 100 internships this summer.

U.S. News Focuses On New Haven, Promise Movement


U.S. News & World Report is featuring the growth of the Promise movement — and we are happy to report the first national shout-out to Cities of Promise.

cop-us-news-logoThe introduction to the piece told the tale of a young woman from a Colorado charter school who found out that the difference between her financial aid package and the price tag at her college would be more than $10,000 — a figure her parents simply couldn’t cover.

But her high school — Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette, about a half-hour north of Denver — announced a pilot program intended to ensure that college remain an option for their graduates, regardless of individual financial situations.

While it is unusual for a high school to do this, more and more colleges are following the lead of the nation’s Cities of Promise, where student success has met with opportunity. New Haven Promise Executive Director Patricia Melton — a co-founder of Cities of Promise — was a source for the story.

She said that the Promise movement has led the way for innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. In this case, the grass-roots initiatives have “influenced bolder thinking at the policy level, which tends to take more time,” said Melton. New Haven Promise is currently funding nearly 500 students with more than 100 each at the state’s flagship institution, the University of Connecticut, and New Haven’s Southern Connecticut State University.

Author Allie Bidwell wrote:

Over the last decade, however, more outside foundations have been partnering with cities and school districts to get into the scholarship game, says Carrie Warick, director of partnerships and policy for the National College Access Network.

“I do see an expansion happening at the local level,” Warick says. “I think you will see it through these collective impact initiatives or other collaborations of local, business and nonprofit entities, where the school district will be very involved.”

One of the reasons school districts should be involved, perhaps even in supplying financial support, is that Promise programs help generate significant dollars for them. In New Haven, for example, public school enrollment decreased five straight years before Yale University (ranked third nationally by U.S. News), the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Yale New Haven Hospital (ranked among the nation’s top 20 in six categories by U.S. News) established the Promise in 2010.

Since then city-wide public enrollment has jumped each year and is up 10 percent in total, which brings tens of millions of dollars annually to the district and infuses economic development — short term and long term — to the region.