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Birmingham Promise Sets Record For Scholarship Applications

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Wenonah High School Class of 2023 included 150 graduates, 25 merit scholars, 35 with college credit, two entering the military and more than $3 million in scholarship offers. (BCS)

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Birmingham Promise, which provides up to four years of tuition assistance for graduates of Birmingham City Schools who attend public colleges and universities in Alabama, this year received a record number of college scholarship applications from students, with 524 graduating seniors accepted for the program.

Last year, 340 graduating seniors applied and were accepted to the program. The scholarships cover tuition and mandatory fees and are available to graduates of Birmingham City Schools who attend public colleges and universities in Alabama.

“The purpose of Birmingham Promise scholarships is to make a college education more accessible and affordable to young people in Birmingham City Schools,” said Samantha Williams, executive director of Birmingham Promise. “National studies show that programs like Birmingham Promise lead to higher rates of college enrollment and graduation, especially for low-income students of color. We expect and hope to see these numbers increase as we move forward.”

Among this year’s scholarship recipients is Karma Jefferson, who will graduate from Carver High School on June 2 and attend Alabama State University in the fall. She is featured in a Birmingham Promise video that will be shown at Birmingham City Schools graduations this week.

G.W. Carver High School’s Karma Jefferson, will graduate on June 2 and will attend Alabama State University. (PROVIDED)

“The beautiful thing about Birmingham Promise is that it gives you a chance — no matter if you didn’t play sports, join clubs, have the highest GPA — this is your chance,” she said on the video.

Since its creation in 2020, Birmingham Promise has provided $5.5 million in tuition assistance to 1,000 graduates of Birmingham City Schools. Students who have other scholarships and financial aid to cover tuition can still benefit from other elements of the Birmingham Promise program, including success coaches to help navigate challenges during college.

Before graduating, seniors in Birmingham City Schools also have an opportunity to get paid work experience as interns through Birmingham Promise. Internship applications for next year’s seniors also set a record this year, with more than 250 juniors asking for the opportunity to participate in the program and build their career skills. The largest of any previous year was 159.

Birmingham Promise also manages a paid internship program that allows high school seniors to build valuable work experience. For more information on Birmingham Promise, visit http://www.birminghampromise.org/ or follow on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.