Dayton Foundation to raise funds to send low-income youth to higher education

Bob Westerfield and Jaiyveon Lemon | PROVIDED

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Bob Westerfield and Jaiyveon Lemon | PROVIDED

The Dayton Foundation has announced it will launch its new Extend the Promise Campaign in order to raise funds to send 500 students to and through higher education.

The campaign is part of the foundation’s Montgomery County Ohio College Promise program, which it said has sent 600 low-income youth from the county to higher education.

“Montgomery County Ohio College Promise began with a goal of transforming the lives of 500 students, making it possible for them to not only attend college but to dream beyond college. Through the Extend the Promise Campaign, College Promise will continue the program with an additional 10 cohorts of 50 students each, thus impacting the lives of a total of 1,000 Montgomery County students since the program’s inception,” said Patrick Gill, executive director of the program since 2017, said,

In total, the foundation hopes to raise $2.75 million, with an additional $100,000 challenge grant matching all new gifts, made possible by anonymous funds of The Dayton Foundation. The Dayton Foundation and its fund holders awarded $375,000 in grants toward the campaign.

College Promise has already raised 90% of the funds, with hopes of reaching its goal by the end of 2022.

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The program selects students impacted by poverty during their eighth grade year and are supported by adult volunteer mentors through high school, the foundation said. During that time, the student have to practice good citizenship and maintain good grades.

On graduation, the student receives scholarships to allow them to attend college at little to no cost.

The foundation said many of these students are the first of their families to attend and graduate college.

The first College Promise scholars graduated high school in 2015, and to date have earned 128 post-secondary credentials.

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