Promise scholarship programs have emerged all across the United States. They take on many different forms, but all of them grow from the same foundational understanding:
- Access to a post-secondary education is a key steppingstone to opportunity.
- Today’s workforce needs more advanced skills than ever before.
- Place-based scholarships can make communities and school systems stronger.
Through the Bold Goals Coalition, we’ve been committed to expanding college access throughout our region from the beginning. The FAFSA Action Network (dedicated to helping high school students apply for federal financial aid for college tuition) was one of the very first that we launched! This year, that network’s focus will broaden as it becomes the College Access Network.
We’ve also been champions in our region for an equitable, competitive and resilient workforce. Launching Building (it) Together has been our most significant contribution to that effort so far.
That’s why we’re excited about the Birmingham Promise. With its two core components of paid apprenticeships during high school and tuition assistance for post-secondary education, it has the potential to significantly expand college access, better position the region for an equitable and competitive workforce and strengthen the community and the school system.
Many Bold Goals partners are already involved in the Birmingham Promise, and more will be over time. The same team at United Way of Central Alabama that provides backbone support for the Bold Goals Coalition is providing extensive support to launch the Birmingham Promise in partnership with the City of Birmingham and the Birmingham City Schools.
We look forward to learning from the Birmingham Promise, and sharing that insight across our region. We want everyone to have a clear pathway to opportunity. This is a big first step in that direction.
The Bold Goals Coalition is 200 organizations solving big community problems by aligning partners, resources and agendas.