5 January 2009

 

Greetings:

 

This is our monthly email discussing news relating to The Detroit College Promise.  There was no newsletter last month.  To subscribe or unsubscribe, email NatPernick@Hotmail.com indicating subscribe / unsubscribe to DCP monthly email.

 

Prior monthly emails:

Aug 2008     Sep 2008     Oct 2008     Nov 2008

 

Status:  In December 2008, we started a pilot program at Frank Cody High School in Detroit (click here for our Press Release).  To date, we have received 98 scholarship applications.  Based on conversations with Cody’s principal, Johnathon Matthews, and several colleges and universities, we have made some changes to the program.  The most important change is that we are requiring students to apply for financial aid by filling out the online FAFSA form.  We will then pay the balance due for tuition and mandatory fees after application of federal, state and college grants.  This change was made because we were repeatedly advised that we should not “throw away” the financial aid that most of these students are eligible for.  These outside dollars allow us to use our contributed dollars for more scholarships.  We are updating our website to incorporate this change.

 

Future plans: We anticipate adding one or more high schools to our program in the summer of 2009, and expanding the program annually until it covers all DPS high schools.  Of course, this is contingent on financial support.  We estimate it will cost $750,000 to add a new high school with 300 graduating seniors.

 

Media: Coverage of our press release about Cody appeared in La Prensa, billed as Ohio & Michigan's Oldest and Largest Latino Newspaper (click here), and a short brief appeared in the Detroit News (click here).  An interview with Greg Bowman was aired for his radio show, “Making the Grade” on WWJ Newsradio 950 (link).  Crain’s Detroit Business published a short article (link).  The AAA Schoolhouse, a publication of the Detroit Public Schools, also wrote about our program (page 2, click here).  We appeared on Arise Detroit’s radio show on 16 November 2008 on WCHB, AM 1200 with Luther Keith, their Executive Director. 

 

Western Michigan University published two new studies that the Kalamazoo Promise, in its first two years, has led to a 12% increase in student enrollment and raised teacher expectations (working papers 4 and 5). 

 

Website changes: Our Documents page now contains the latest version of our Business Plan and a List of Related Links, which includes all Media Coverage and other relevant topics.

 

Relationships: We have new relationships with several community organizations.  Our current relationships are:

 

Arise Detroit: helping us network with other organizations and publicize our programs

Communities in Schools: supplying a member of our Advisory Board, will help high school students with college preparedness

Detroit Public Schools: providing us technical details relating to administering the program, helping us to publicize the program

Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce: supplying a member of our Board, helping us make connections with other organizations, helping us negotiate discounted tuition with colleges and universities

Michigan’s public colleges and universities: coordinating aspects of the program, setting up accounts to receive donations for our scholarship recipients who attend their schools, supplying members of our Advisory Board, possibly analyzing our program’s impact on the regional economy

The Skillman Foundation: at their suggestion, we made Cody High School, which is part of their Good Schools initiative, our pilot high school

United Negro College Fund: supplying a member of our Advisory Board, may assist us in administering some aspects of the scholarships

Youth Development Commission: acting as fiduciary until we get our tax exempt status

 

University based accounts: We have set up accounts for donors who wish to support our program at specific universities.  At this time, we have accounts at Wayne State University and University of Michigan-Dearborn.  Donors can make checks payable to these institutions, put out name in the memo section, and then forward to the checks to us.  We will mail the checks to the colleges or universities, who will deposit the money, but use it only to pay our scholarship costs for our recipients at these institutions.  This mechanism allows donors to benefit a particular institution of higher learning as well as our charity (note: there is only one tax deduction, which comes from the college / university).

 

Fiduciary: We have started accepting tax exempt contributions directly through an arrangement with the Youth Development Commission in Detroit, a Skillman initiative.  The YDC, a tax exempt charity, will deposit the funds and disperse them on our behalf until we get our own tax exempt status.  We submitted our tax exempt application to the IRS on 1 August 2008, but they are now only up to applications submitted in June 2008.

 

If you are able to do so, we urge you and your friends / colleagues to contribute $25 or whatever you can afford to support college scholarships for the Cody seniors and help us expand the program.  Please visit our Contribute page, or click on http://www.detroitcollegepromise.com/dcpcontribute.html.

 

If you want to volunteer, or have any suggestions. please contact us.

 

-- Nat

 

Nat Pernick, M.D.

Executive Director

The Detroit College Promise

30100 Telegraph Road, Suite 408

Bingham Farms, MI 48025

 

Telephone: 248/646-3269

Fax: 248/646-3119

Email: NatPernick@Hotmail.com