KALAMAZOO, Mich.— A decade ago, Kalamazoo made a promise, which has now sent thousands of teenagers to college.
The Kalamazoo Promise is marking its ten-year milestone this year. Officials with the program say it is responsible for 4,000 scholarships totaling more than $60 million.
The Kalamazoo Promise, which sparked a national movement, pays the full tuition of Kalamazoo Public School graduates who attend any college or university in Michigan. Nearly 50 communities across the country have since adopted the free tuition model.
“In our city, that has meant changing our culture, knocking down barriers and raising expectations. We’ve really just begun, but we’ve accomplished so much already that the 10-year anniversary is a milestone we need to mark and leverage as we set the stage for the next 10 years,” said Von Washington Jr., The Kalamazoo Promise executive director for community relations.