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The Promise gets more national exposure on Al Jazeera America


KALAMAZOO  (WKZO) -- Al Jazeera America is the nation’s newest network and the latest to give the Kalamazoo Promise national exposure.

In a lengthy article in their education section, they showcase much of the information we reported last week when the unique scholarship program had its 8th anniversary.

They interviewed former Superintendent Janice Brown, who came up with the idea, fleshed out the concept and rounded up the donors.  She is the only person who knows who the donors are.

They also profiled the story of student Maurice Washington, who says he was homeless, his father is in prison and his mother is a high school drop out.

Washington told Al Jazeera that he would probably have followed in their footsteps or be dead if not for The Promise. Now he is a social work major at W.M.U.

It also showcased the experience of the family of Kristin and John Fiore who moved from Gull Lake to Kalamazoo after the Promise was announced, just to take advantage of the scholarship offer. Because their children had already begun school before they moved here, their scholarships will only be partially funded, but they figure they will be saving 100-thousand dollars in tuition.

Promise Executive Administrator Bob Jorth tells us they are happy to help out other communities and generate national publicity because it promotes the community, and community development is part of what The Promise is all about.