Hartford Promise Scholarship Program To Be Launched Next Week
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
January 14, 2013
HARTFORD —— A scholarship program that will give Hartford public school students up to $5,000 annually to help pay for college, starting with the Class of 2016, will be formally launched next week, school officials said.
Superintendent Christina Kishimoto first announced the $12 million Hartford Promise capital campaign last April during her inaugural state of the schools address. At the time, Kishimoto recognized Ramani Ayer, former chief executive and chairman of The Hartford, and several other high-profile partners who committed to raise money to fund the program through the Class of 2023.
School administrators said they plan to make a major funding announcement about Hartford Promise at a press conference to be held Jan. 22. They offered no details, but according to one source, about $4 million has been raised from corporations so far.
School spokesman David Medina, who declined to confirm or deny that figure Monday, said the press conference will mark the program's official launch.
"It's reality now," Medina said. "It's no longer an idea."
Hartford students who are city residents, enrolled in the school system since at least the ninth grade, have good attendance and graduate with a minimum B-average can be eligible to receive $5,000 per year to help cover costs at a four-year college. Those attending two-year community colleges can receive $2,500 per year.
Mayor Pedro Segarra and Oz Griebel, president and CEO of MetroHartford Alliance, have supported Kishimoto's initiative, saying that an educated urban workforce is crucial for the region's economic development.
Ayer, Segarra, Griebel, state Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, Hartford Hospital CEO Jeffrey Flaks and Robert Patricelli, chairman and CEO of Avon-based Women's Health USA, are among those expected to attend next week's announcement at Hartford Public High School.
Patricelli said Monday that he is joining Andy Bessette, Travelers' executive vice president and chief administrative officer, as one of the lead program ambassadors — called Hartford Promise Champions — who will raise money from corporations and foundations.
"We're trying to help [Kishimoto] shape the program and also get it some visibility in the corporate world," Patricelli said. "Hopefully it sends the message that the community is behind the school system … It's very exciting."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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