So it’s official: Starting in 2016, the Hartford Promise will dole out $5,000 annual scholarships to city graduates attending four-year colleges, and $2,500 a year for students enrolled in two-year colleges.
This year’s high school freshmen are the first to be eligible — and need to keep up their grades and attendance for a chance at up to $20,000 over four years. Here’s the story I wrote today.
As I mentioned last week, the scholarship fund has received about $4 million in donations. School officials said Tuesday that six corporations and philanthropists gave $4.1 million, to be exact, including $2 million from the Travelers Foundation, the Hartford school system’s top corporate donor in general, and $1 million from Hartford Hospital.
More millions will be needed to fully fund the program through the Class of 2023, and so the school system has lined up “Hartford Promise Champions” who will be advocates and fundraisers, including Ramani Ayer, the former chairman and CEO of The Hartford. (Ramani also donated $300,000 himself).
This scholarship program has been a pet project of sorts for Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. She mentioned the idea the first time I interviewed her two years ago, when Kishimoto was an assistant superintendent openly seeking to replace her then-boss, the retiring Steven Adamowski.
“The Hartford Promise is real now,” Kishimoto said in a statement released this week.