Student stimulus: Donors see a good thing in the Pittsburgh Promise
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A tough economy hasn't stopped local philanthropies from digging deep for the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program. The latest example is the $9 million gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, which will be paid over three years.
This donation and others will provide scholarships for graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and city charter schools who meet eligibility requirements. The innovative program, which can mean up to $20,000 in aid to a student, will not only help with college costs but also will be a lure for families to move to Pittsburgh.
The Mellon pledge follows a series of recent donations from the Pittsburgh Foundation ($10 million over about 10 years), The Heinz Endowments ($6 million over three years), the Grable Foundation ($5 million over five years), the Buhl Foundation ($3 million over 10 years), the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation ($2.5 million over five years) and Massey Charitable Trust ($1 million).
Such support is a start toward leveraging dollars from a $90 million challenge grant by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which also made a $10 million contribution. Now it's up to businesses and individuals to pitch in.
The Pittsburgh Promise (administered by the Pittsburgh Foundation) is a unique way to invest in the future of deserving students and in a city that deserves a future. Even in hard times, these are dollars worth spending.
First Published March 2, 2009 12:00 am