New Haven Promise is getting a big boost in helping New Haven high schoolers get into college.
With the cost of tuition and student loan debt on the rise, a major donation Wednesday from Yale New Haven Hospital will fund the college dreams of more students.
The hospital renewed its commitment to education Wednesday, announcing a $2 million grant for New Haven Promise over the next four years.
“Leaders of our city have always believed in the promise of students in New Haven, that’s you and lots of other students throughout the city,” said Patricia Melton during the announcement made to an auditorium full of Hillhouse High School students. Melton is the executive director of New Haven Promise.
Now in its 10th year, New Haven Promise is on track to award $17 million to 1,900 New Haven graduates, covering part or all of their tuition at in-state schools. Breylin Jones is one of them.
“I want you guys to take this seriously because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Jones to the students.
Jones – now a New Haven academy and CCSU grad – said the financial and professional benefits of New Haven promise are invaluable.
”A lot of people came out $100,000 in debt, $80,000 in debt, so I came out not debt free, but it made a huge dent into it,” said Jones.
He credited New Haven Promise Director Patricia Melton with internships and helping him start his career.
“She said ‘did you find a job yet?’ and I said ‘no not yet,’ so she gave me the opportunity to work at Yale New Haven Hospital and now I work in talent acquisitions as a specialist,” said Jones.
Parents also praised the benefits of the program.
“It makes college a reality, it makes it something you can attain,” said Scott Jones, who has one New Haven Promise grad in college, and one 10th grader who hopes to become a Promise grad.
“The stuff that they have, even in high school, like some of the internships and job applications that they have for me could be beneficial to me and my future,” said his daughter Alissa Jones, a Hillhouse 10th grader.
There’s even more scholarship money on the way. On Thursday the University of New Haven and New Haven Promise are going to announce more scholarship funds to help even more high schoolers in New Haven.