Investing in our young people remains the key to unlocking our City’s full potential. As co-founder and board member of the innovative Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program, I am thrilled to report on the progress we have made to date, as well as our ongoing efforts to positively impact even more young people. The Promise recently issued their 2012 Report to the Community. Here are three top highlights:
Five years ago, we embarked on this exciting program - a step that was not without risk, considering the goal to raise $250 million on the front end of an economic downturn. Today, we are more confident than ever that Pittsburgh has embraced this opportunity. Our 10-year fundraising goal of $250 million is already almost 70% met! Thanks to UPMC’s generous commitment, we have an aggressive plan to reach our full $1.50 match for every dollar raised.
After decades of decline, our population is on the upswing and is growing younger. Enrollment in public schools is stabilizing and college attendance among high school graduates appears to be rising. We believe, however, that we can still do more to attract families to Pittsburgh. In an effort to do just that, The Promise has launched campaigns to recruit the Latino population to the region and to feature Promise Scholars now "At Work." Also, in conjunction with local realtors, The Promise has created and distributed the first 250 drop-down yard signs with the message, “Eligible for Up to a $40,000 College Scholarship per Child.”
Renowned publications – from CNN, to Forbes, to Parents Magazine – continue to recognize Pittsburgh’s commitment to young people through The Promise. In fact, just yesterday the program was lauded in this Forbes Magazine article. Through The Promise, we have given hope to more young people to pursue their dreams. We are developing an educated workforce to fill the jobs of our growing economy and we are attracting more families to our City. I encourage you to be a part of The Promise’s success. There are many ways to do this. You can sign up to mentor a 6th grader, read to early elementary students, or of course, donate to The Promise.
The safety of our residents and families is our highest priority. This week, we are celebrating National Fire Prevention Week. I encourage residents to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms, establish a two-ways-out escape plan and get to know their local firefighters. Our firefighters and public safety professionals are the best at what they do - saving lives - but we need residents to take the necessary steps to prevent fires, stay safe and know how to react in an emergency.
City firefighters will offer free home safety inspections and distribute free batteries for smoke detectors. If you, an elderly neighbor or a loved one are in need of an inspection, call my 3-1-1 Response Line.
Stay connected to your City to get the latest news and information about developments happening in your neighborhood. "Like" the City of Pittsburgh on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and encourage your family and friends to stay informed, too.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
512 City County Building | 414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
telephone: 412-255-2626 | facsimile: 412-255-2687