A mother’s resilience, a son’s academic excellence

Sep. 1, 2023

“Do you recall my story?”

Standing across from me was a young woman in her 30s. Her face carried a vague sense of familiarity. My attempt to conceal my lack of recollection was betrayed by my expression. She gracefully extended a lifeline.

“I graduated from your high school in 2007,” she continued. “You don’t remember, do you? I’m Ajah, now an elementary school teacher.”

She offered a warm smile. Her narrative unfurled. An unforeseen pregnancy at the age of 16 had led her to drop out of high school during her junior year. Her waning self-assurance and the overwhelming demands of life had propelled her withdrawal.

“One day, I heard a knock on my front door,” Ajah recounted. “It was our principal, Ms. Rogers.”

At this moment, Ajah was reliving that encounter.

“Ms. Rogers informed me that quitting school wasn’t an option. She believed in my intelligence and potential.” Ajah paused to wipe away a tear. “In the following months, she came to my house every day to tutor me.”

Frequently, I witness this unyielding dedication within our UrbanPromise teaching staff—it’s a beautiful sight. They go above and beyond for the students entrusted to their care. They actively learn the narratives of the young individuals who walk through our doors each day, enabling them to respond aptly.

Every UrbanPromise student is afforded the chance to realize their potential.

“Do you know what became of the baby who nearly forced me to abandon my education?” Once again, I paused. Ajah continued, “He’s graduating from your high school this year. His name is Carmi.”

“Carmi is your son?” I pondered. Carmi, the student who secured a prestigious internship at BlackRock last summer? The valedictorian of the Class of ’23? The graduate at the age of 16? That Carmi?

Ajah beamed with pride. “Carmi is headed to Drexel University this fall to study business.” This time, I returned the smile.

The success of Ajah and Carmi was a testament to the personalized attention and unwavering commitment of our educators.

In Camden, the closure of schools in the city poses a genuine challenge. Earlier this year, we received news of yet another Camden school shutting its doors, leaving a community of parents in search of a new educational home.

We are delighted to welcome nine of their students to our schools this September. One way we ensure affordable tuition for these families is through an extensive sliding scale. In order to sustain this generous sliding scale for these newcomers, we anticipate a per-student shortfall of $3,400 ($30,600 in total).

I implore you to aid us in extending a warm welcome to these new students. I trust you will once again stand by our youth and families in the upcoming school year.

With gratitude,

Bruce Main
President & Founder

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