Blog: 24 August 2015
Imagine the opportunity to make a low risk investment that could yield a million dollars?
StreetLeader graduate and current UrbanPromise board member Arlene Wube has done this 43 times. I’ll tell you her secret, which she learned from an UrbanPromise donor.
Arlene had a dream to enable young people from Camden to attend college. It was a dream that grew out of her own experience: she came close to dropping out her second year of college due to the gap between the college bill, financial aid, and her ability to pay. However, an UrbanPromise donor made up the difference. She graduated from Howard, went onto get her MBA, and is now a proud business owner, mother, and wife living in Washington, DC. In 2011, she started the UrbanPromise Ambassadors of Hope scholarship fund.
Thanks to Arlene’s dream and hard work, UrbanPromise has been able to fill the financial gap for 43 of our high school graduates since that time. These 43 students have gone on to college, and 100 percent have either graduated from college or are still in school today. This is an amazing outcome that surpassed our hopes.
Our young people are grateful for your investment in them, and they are working hard at college. They are making the most of their opportunities. They are spending their free time teaching elderly people ESL, as Natasha Santiago is doing at TCNJ. They are leading mentoring groups for African American men, like Dominic Bowman is doing at Montclair. They are earning good grades, like Mecca Perry, a 4.0 student. They proudly report their grades (because we require it). They commit to remaining drug and alcohol free, and they come to speak to our children during their breaks. They are taking all that they’ve learned at UrbanPromise, and they are continuing to help others by making a difference with their lives.
They are making us proud.
However, it is also true that not having book money or not having a meal plan can be the difference in a student’s success or failure. For the first time in 4 years, our scholarship fund balance is not enough to meet the needs of 27 of our college students for the upcoming school year. Our gap is $45,000, which will cover scholarships ranging from $500 to $8,000.
Please consider helping. Every dollar you invest in an UrbanPromise college student will yield a phenomenal return: the lifetime earnings difference between a college graduate and a high school graduate is a million dollars!
This summer I was in charge of over 30 teens and 180 campers at UrbanPromise. I made sure camp went well and was running properly. I also mentored teens and built relationships with them. Thanks to UrbanPromise’s support, my sister and I were able to go to college. I graduate this year.
— Dominique McBurrows, Virginia State University
UrbanPromise participant since 2008
I’ve had the pleasure and honor of being involved with UrbanPromise for 6 years. In those years, I’ve been a camp kid, volunteer, and StreetLeader, all of which have shaped me into the motivated, level-headed man I am becoming.
— Stephen Cobb, Rowan University
UrbanPromise participant since 2009
My experience with the StreetLeader Program was one of the best experiences I have ever had … During my first year of college I realized books are really expensive, and one of the hardest things for me to purchase during college. UrbanPromise helped me buy my books. Thank you.
— Mecca Perry
UrbanPromise participant since 2010
I have been a part of UrbanPromise since first grade. UrbanPromise helped groom me not to become a statistic. This is my first year as an independent student due to the sudden death of my mother last year. I am hoping UrbanPromise can provide some financial help so I can keep going.
— Dominic Bowman, Montclair University
UrbanPromise participant since 2001
My relationship with UrbanPromise is unconditional. It is my second family. I will always help out at UrbanPromise, because they gave me a great start.
— Natasha Santiago, The College of New Jersey
UrbanPromise participant since 2008