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  An Update from Richmond Promise
July 18, 2023

One of the most memorable accomplishments of my 28-years of public service was establishment of the Richmond Promise, funded with $35 million from the $90 million Chevron and Community  ECIA (Environmental and Community Investment Agreement)

As you can see from the update report below, Richmond Promise helped 475 students from Richmond high schools attend college in the fall with scholarships worth $2.8 million.

The RPA members of the City Council did not support funding for the Richmond Promise program, which cost the City of Richmond nothing.
I’m excited to share a bit of what’s going on at Richmond Promise with you!

Dear Friend,

Our team has been hard at work this summer, and I’m excited to share a bit of what’s going on at Richmond Promise with you!

Welcoming our New RP Scholars
We hosted our 8th annual Scholar Celebration on June 3, and were joined by more than 250 local high school students, their families and friends, and members of the Richmond community. The 2023 RP Scholar cohort is made up of 475 students; they will be attending institutions of higher education across the country this fall, including Howard University, UC Berkeley, CSU Northridge, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, to name a few. Read more about the event, and check out all the photos here

Addressing Summer Melt
Every summer, our team facilitates College Success Workshops for high school graduates to shepherd a successful transition to postsecondary education and mitigate summer melt. These workshops include peer coaching sessions, financial literacy programming, campus visits, and support with college enrollment. In June, we hosted four in-person workshops at Contra Costa College, as well as two virtual workshops, which were attended by more than 430 students in total.

RP Summer Associates
Richmond Promise has hired and onboarded 19 associates to join our team for the summer. Summer Associates are current college students and provide much-needed capacity to help ensure a successful high school to college transition for incoming RP Scholars. They also play a key role in scholarship operations by assisting RP staff with the renewal process. You can learn more about our stellar group of Summer Associates here

Join our Mentorship Program
Our 2022 - 2023 mentorship program came to a close in June, and we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our participants! For example, 90% of our mentor-mentee pairs intend to continue engaging with each other even after the conclusion of the program. We are currently preparing for our 2023 - 2024 cycle, which starts in August, and are looking for a few professionals who are willing to share their time, expertise, and knowledge with our RP Scholars. If you’re able, please consider applying to be a mentor. We’d appreciate it if you could share this information with your friends and network as well. 

Our Commitment to Equity
In response to the Supreme Court’s disappointing decision regarding affirmative action, I issued this statement

“Richmond Promise exists because of social and racial inequities that have held our community back for generations, including access to higher education. While the Supreme Court decision to ban affirmative action is not a surprise, it is a significant setback in a long pursuit of educational, social, and economic mobility for our most marginalized populations – particularly Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander and Asian American communities. As we consider a future without affirmative action, Richmond Promise deepens our steadfast commitment to working with colleges and universities, philanthropists, and college promise programs to increase diversity and inclusion in postsecondary education. Together, we will continue to champion equity in education and advance the progress that generations of learners deserve.”

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to learn more about our work. Thank you for being a part of our RP community!

With gratitude,

The Richmond Promise - creating a college going & graduating culture
Christopher Whitmore | Executive Director
Richmond Promise, Inc
Direct cell: 510-325-9038 
Student TEXT hotline: 510-230-0422
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