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Detroit High School students have the opportunity to go to college debt free

5/6/2021

WXYZ Detroit 

By Glenda Lewis

DETROIT (WXYZ) — “We just want everybody to know, just by choosing to live in Detroit, go to high school in Detroit, you are eligible for Detroit Promise which is free tuition at multiple community colleges and 4-year institutions,” said Detroit Promise Director Ashley Johnson.

In the halls of an incredible Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School, Detroit Promise Director Ashley Johnson put out the call to me to help her reach all Detroit High school seniors and let them know, now is the time to register for the funds that can help you fulfill your dreams.

Please just take a moment to really hear this promise. If you go to school in Detroit and live in the city, there is an organization that promises to send you to college for free.

“In their senior year, we reach out to them and have them sign up, so in their senior year, they really have to do 3 things. One is just register with the Promise,” said Johnson. “It takes like 15 minutes to register. After they are registered honestly all they have to do is check their text messages and emails.”

Every student who registered this year should already have an email and a text message.

“So, if you know any seniors that have registered for Detroit Promise, it’s time to sign commitment forms. If they have not registered, it’s not too late they can still register and apply to college,” said Johnson.

If hands-on is what you are into, skilled trades are offered too.

“So, most of our community colleges have a skilled trade pathway if students are interested in that or short-term certificate so if people are interested in welding or HVAC they can still use Detroit promise as well,” said Johnson.

“You love going to school here walk around and see the history on the walls,” Glenda Lewis asked. “Just curious for myself when you see this, what does it mean to you?”

“It means that I have a lot of potential and I’m destined for great opportunities,” said Melanie Davis.

Senior Melanie Davis jumped on the opportunity to sign up for Detroit Promise. Now this honor roll student and swimmer will be heading to Oakland University in the fall. She plans to explore psychology, study biology and even dance.

“I will be able to attend college without worrying about paying additional money and just overall feeling proud because I came a long way with assistance and comfort and all of that,” said Davis.

“It’s a good feeling when your community supports you and you are talking about returning it as an adult,” said Lewis.

“It was a worry, but Detroit Promise took my worry away, so I don’t even think about paying anything anymore and I know Detroit Promise has my back,” said Davis.

Cass Tech graduate Bre’yhanna Barton met us at King just to tell us how this Promise fulfilled is paving the way for her.

“It has helped me so much at Macomb they’ve given me almost $8,000 so far,” said Bre’yhanna Barton. “Fall, winter, spring, summer everything. It has been great.”

“So, you’re living proof of what this program can do for young people when they get ready to leave,” said Lewis.

“I’m at Macomb right now studying to be an NFL athletic trainer,” said Barton.

Since 2013, the Detroit Regional Chamber has administered the Detroit Promise which is funded by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation.

Support from the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation, the Detroit Promise Authority remains committed to giving every Detroit-residing student an opportunity to achieve a postsecondary degree regardless of their financial situation.

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