7 September 2008
This is our monthly email discussing news relating to The Detroit College Promise. To subscribe or unsubscribe, email NatPernick@hotmail.com indicating “subscribe / unsubscribe to DCP news.”
Prior monthly emails:
Status: Due to the many challenges facing the City of Detroit and the Detroit Public Schools, we are pressing to start our program as soon as possible. We would like to start at a pilot high school(s) (see below), beginning with the current seniors (graduating class of 2009). We are set up administratively to begin the program, but need $500,000 in pledges for each pilot high school to pay for the scholarships. Once we receive our tax exempt status, which we anticipate obtaining by year end, we will accept actual contributions, including online contributions.
We can legitimately start our program without having our tax exempt status. If we start the program for the graduating class of 2009, we do not actually need to write any checks until September / October 2009, since that is when the first semester’s college tuition bills will come due. In addition, our organizational expenses are all being paid by PathologyOutlines.com, Inc., so no funds are needed for this. Several organizations have offered to serve as a fiduciary for us (i.e. they would accept contributions and disburse funds on our behalf). This option is helpful because (a) some donors may prefer sending money to an established non-profit, and (b) it provides a backup if there is a delay in obtaining tax-exempt status.
Pilot high schools: At this time, our tentative pilot high schools are Cody, Osborne and Northwestern. We recent met with the Skillman Foundation, and are planning to work with them by promoting Cody or Osborne High School, which are part of their Good Neighborhoods, Good Schools programs. We are starting to explore funding mechanisms for these schools. We also recently met with the Northwestern High School Success Project (see article), which has about 40 current corporate sponsors. We may be able to obtain funds from these corporate sponsors to start the scholarship at Northwestern. Several other Detroit Public School high schools also have corporate partners, and we will contact them also.
Other fundraising: We continue to contact various individuals, businesses and non-profits to obtain pledges. To date, we have about $42,000 in pledges. To pledge, a donor can email NatPernick@Hotmail.com indicating “I pledge $___ to The Detroit College Promise”, or click here or on our Contribute page for a pledge form. Let us know if you have any suggestions on who to contact.
Partnerships: We continue to meet with other organizations to develop partnerships that promote mutual objectives. We recently met with Sanual Mixon, Executive Director, Office of Pupil Personnel Services, Detroit Public Schools, and her staff, to discuss our program and how we can work together. DPS Superintendent Connie Calloway, in her newsletter to her staff, recently wrote about our program:
I was very encouraged to learn about the efforts of a local businessman to start Detroit’s version of the Kalamazoo Promise. This has the potential to be great news for our students and we look forward to learning more about it from the organizers.
The impact the Kalamazoo Promise has had not only on the students and schools but on the overall vitality of the community is well documented.
Like the recent announcement of a venture fund to help fund turnaround school initiatives, this is a strong example that within our community including among our business leaders there is a sense that positive change is forthcoming at DPS.
Volunteers: In response to many requests, we have started a volunteer email list. Every few weeks, we will email suggestions on how to help. To subscribe, email NatPernick@Hotmail.com indicating “subscribe to DCP volunteer list”.
Website: We have made several changes to our website at www.DetroitCollegePromise.org. We now list members of our Board of Directors and Advisory Board on our Board page. We also list Endorsements on our Donors page. This is a way for businesses or others to show their support, even if they are unable to contribute financially at this time. We have also added a Books page for K-12 children, with links to the Caldicott and Newberry award winning books. Buying these books or anything else from Amazon.com, by navigating through our website, will generate revenue for us, without costing you anything, as Amazon contributes part of its profits to us. Half of these proceeds will be used for the scholarship, and half will be used for organizational expenses (however, these purchases cannot be considered tax deductible contributions).
Our website also has a link to our current Business plan (click here).
Media: We had a whirlwind of media coverage in the past month. It began with an article on 18 August 2008 in Crain’s Detroit Business (click here). In response to a media release (click here) announcing the start of our fundraising efforts, the Detroit News published an article (click here) as did the Detroit Free Press (online only, click here). We were also interviewed by Fox 2 News (click here), Channel 4 News (click here), Michigan Radio, WWJ, WMUK-Kalamazoo (click here), WDET’s Detroit Today (click here), and WCHB’s Arise Detroit show.
Thanks for your support. Please contact me with any questions or suggestions.
Nat Pernick, M.D.
The Detroit College Promise
30100 Telegraph Road, Suite 404
Bingham Farms, MI 48025