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The big announcement: College promise in New Haven

For those that missed it, Let me quote the Independent here:

The city has an offer for freshmen in its public high schools: Keep up good grades and stay in school, and you’ll get a full ride to a state college or university.

That’s part of a new “Promise” the city unveiled Tuesday as part of its ambitious school reform drive.

It will pay up to 25 percent of the tuition for qualifying seniors who go on to public colleges or universities in Connecticut next year; up to 50 percent for the class after that, up to 75 percent for the following class; and up to 100 percent for the Class of 2014. Then funders will decide whether to continue the program.

Yale University has pledged up to $4 million per year to fund the new college tuition program, called New Haven Promise, according to Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. The program will be available to New Haven residents who attend public schools, with some conditions. Yale has committed to fund the program for an initial eight years as it is phased in for the four classes of current high school students; the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven will pay for the employees to administer the fund.

Now, we need to discuss what the community should do with this announcement, and all the huge, huge potential it creates. Check out the discussion thread in the forum here at GNH Community - link.

This is a huge opportunity - what we can do to get the most out of it? Discuss!

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Comment by Lee Cruz on November 15, 2010 at 4:09pm
Just read this article in the Yale daily:

This is what I think:
One size certainly does not fit all. I went to a technical high school and loved it. What I learned in trade school has served me well over the years; however, as I got older, I decided to pursue a different line of work. My ability to do this is directly related to my parent’s commitment to education in spite of their limited formal education and to the work of my English teachers. Mr. Johnson, my 7th grade English teacher, exploited my love of science fiction and got me to read more. Ms. Brown, my 10th grade English teacher, insisted that her trade school students read and discuss A Tale of Two Cities. Dr. Logan, my college freshman English teacher, made me read a novel a week for 12 weeks starting with his personal favorite, Moby Dick. I would not be who I am today were it not for my parents, these teachers and many other people who taught me to love learn.

Thus while it is true that one size does not fit all, at the same time one does not know one's own potential at 8, 18 or even 88. It is in our collective interest to encourage people of all ages to aspire to greatness and master as many skills as possible. To aspire does not guarantee success; however, it does lead you down the right road. New Haven Promise will lead students down the road to pursue higher education. How far they go when the economic barriers are minimized is for each individual to decide for themselves.

What do you think?
Comment by Roger Senserrich - CAHS on November 10, 2010 at 12:02pm
CWYC, post that in events - I am sure a ton of people want to know more.
Comment by Linda Chaffin on November 10, 2010 at 11:58am
Hi -
You can not criticize this program in any way for the residents of New Haven. There is no doubt that it will act as incentive and is providing hope for students whom don't believe they can get to college; regardless of their academic success.

Here are two issues I heard from high school students yesterday:
1. What about me? I have been going to New Haven Schools all my life but I don't live in New Haven? I can't participate?" - senior whom doesn't now but did live in New Haven

2. "I am a top level student - I meet all the requirements now and need money for school for next year - why couldn't they do more to help me then the 25% - not that I am unappreciative, but I could really use the money." - senior

The youth leadership group (high school students) that I advise; The Student Activists for Service-Learning is planning to facilitate a Community Dialogue in the spring focusing on reducing the drop out rate and helping peers succeed in school by asking high school students what they need to succeed. We are thinking that unless we bring the issue of succeeding in school into regular school dialogue - discussed by students themselves - and remove any stigma about people needing extra help to succeed; we may be letting some of the positive effects of this opportunity slip away from being embraced by students themselves. We know that we are a small group and that getting listened to is very difficult, but infusing this conversation with youth voice and ideas seems imperative to its success. Any thoughts or comments? We know what YRM is doing, we know what Higher Heights is doing, but we are not aware of any other youth groups working to get youth voice infused into the reform conversation?? Any information or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, Linda - Student Activists for Service Learning; Youth Leadership Program, advisor 0 203 641-4875
Comment by Citywide Youth Coalition on November 10, 2010 at 7:46am
Interested in the New Haven Promise Scholarships & want to talk more? Come to The Grove, 71 Orange St. on Wed 11/17 6-7 pm for Q&A and conversation.

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