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A well-known minority scholarship nonprofit volunteered Wednesday to help Pittsburgh's new college assistance program manage its resources.Edit

Officials of the Negro Educational Emergency Drive -- known as NEED -- pledged to support The Pittsburgh Promise, an effort to raise $5 million to $7 million to subsidize city school students' post-secondary education.

"What we bring to the table is the ability to assess a student's financial aid package," NEED President Sylvester Pace told Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and others. "We can make a better determination of what the student's true needs are ... there's no need to go to both sources, The Pittsburgh Promise and to NEED."

Pace said NEED, which has generated more than $18 million in scholarships for 17,000 students since 1963, won't help Ravenstahl and Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt raise money for The Pittsburgh Promise. Instead, Pace's staff could administer the scholarships.

Pace dismissed concerns that NEED and The Pittsburgh Promise would be forced to compete for the same fundraising dollars.

Last year, NEED raised $800,000 to subsidize college educations for 563 black students. Pace said the average student grant ranged from $1,000 to $3,500.

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InsightsEdit

A six-member board of directors has been appointed to head The Pittsburgh Promise, a multimillion-dollar program to help students and families of Pittsburgh Public Schools plan, prepare and pay for education beyond high school.

The board, elected by directors of The Pittsburgh Foundation, will provide financial and administrative oversight for The Pittsburgh Promise scholarship fund.

The Pittsburgh Promise fund was created last December with a $100 million commitment from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, of which $10 million will be used to mobilize the program in time to support 2008 graduates from the school district. The remainder is a challenge grant intended to spur the community to raise an additional $135 million.

Board members are: Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl; Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt; UPMC Diversity Officer Candi Castleberry-Singleton; Pittsburgh Foundation Executive Vice President Richard Reed; former Pittsburgh Steeler Franco Harris and Olga Welch, who is dean of Duquesne University's School of Education.

"I know how critical the Promise program is because as a student, I won a scholarship," Harris said in a statement.

Harris is also owner of Super Bakery Inc.

"Without that scholarship, I would not have been able to attend college," he said. "It changed my life and the lives of my family. The Pittsburgh Promise has the potential to change the lives of many, many students and their families and to provide for the future economic well-being of our community."


Universal promise: Death will come.Edit

I want to live forever... So far so good.

We all are going to die. In the past, some wealthy people in Pittsburgh came to understand and act upon the notion that they can't take it with them. Worldly possessions won't provide clout as one visits the pearly gates and meeting St. Peter. Carnegie, Frick and a cadre of others gave to the city and region at the end of their lives.

Others have made a habit of tirelessly giving throughout their lives. Pittsburgh is a generous place with a rich legacy of giving.

People of Pittsburgh generally understand that it's how we live that matters most.

Pittsburghers give of ourselves like few others.

Pennsylvania ranks 41st among states in terms of giving and donations to nonprofit organizations. But, we give in many other ways, daily. Many have made careers in caring, teaching, helping and service. We contribute with our hard work in many ways and often those efforts never show on a ledger of financial accounts.

Maybe we are 41st because our economy is not growing?

Pariocial promisesEdit

What can the city provide? What do we demand from the city? Together, we can list what the city provides as a community.

Let's note what the city government can provide.

Often, government action can influence the ability of the community to provide goods to its members.

How do these goods relate to Pittsburgh's strengths?

NecessitiesEdit

  • Basic shopping (groceries, pharmacy, hardware stores, etc.)
  • Safe public spaces (streets, parks, playgrounds)
  • Security within one's private spaces
  • Cleanliness (sanitation, air quality, trash)
  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Financial services

Fulfilling our potentialEdit

Point to ponder from a Wiki visitor: Pittsburgh's size makes it the 41st in the USA. At one time, Pittsburgh was the fourth largest city in the US. However, we still act like we are as big as Chicago. We are a medium sized city that acts like a giant city. It is nice to have the Pirates play in Pittsburgh, but maybe we would be better off with the best AAA team in the country than a mediocre major league team?

  • Cultural opportunities
  • Educational opportunities
  • Global communication infrastructure
  • Global transportation infrastructure

Something only Pittsburgh can provideEdit

What we need to get thereEdit

  • A person must be able to access all services, either locally or through a good transportation network.
  • Better Schools

Elusive Pittsburgh Branding Challenge Edit

Just walk the walk and let your actions speak volumes. We don't need to talk the talk. Nor do we need to navel gaze and then talk some more. We need people who are frank and action-centered so as to do things that make sense and that lead to rich, full lives that excite ourselves, our families and our professional ambitions.

Nuff said. Rauterkus 18:31, 14 Feb 2006 (MST)

Board Chair NamedEdit

Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris has been elected chairman of the board of the Pittsburgh Promise, a program to help students and families of the Pittsburgh Public Schools plan and pay for education beyond high school.

Harris, the owner of Super Bakery Inc., was elected unanimously at the first Promise board meeting. Directors are currently reviewing a short list of candidates for Pittsburgh Promise's executive director position. That appointment is expected to be announced by the end of May, 2008.

Maxwell King, the recently retired president of the Heinz Endowments, has also joined the board.

The Pittsburgh Promise fund was created in December 2007 with a $100 million commitment from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, of which $10 million will be used to mobilize the program in time to support 2008 graduates from the school district. The remainder is a challenge grant intended to spur the community to raise an additional $135 million.

Other board members are: Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl; Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Mark Roosevelt; UPMC Diversity Officer Candi Castleberry-Singleton; Pittsburgh Foundation Executive Vice President Richard Reed; and Olga Welch, who is dean of Duquesne University's School of Education. link title

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