Providence Promise announces Enrollment Milestone with Mayor and Sec of State

Providence Promise Announces Enrollment Milestone

Program will leverage the support of City and State leaders, Providence families, and other stakeholders to expand access to and affordability of higher education.


PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Providence Promise families, and other members of the local community joined Providence Promise yesterday afternoon at the State House Library to announce and celebrate the enrollment of the program’s 250th Promise student.

Each Promise Student has their own 529 college savings account and will be eligible to receive up to $20,000 per year in “Gap Funding” to finance a higher education program of their choice, including two-year and four-year colleges and universities, as well as trade and technical schools. Families contribute approximately of 1% of their household income to each child’s 529 account for a period of 15 years, and after graduating from their higher education program, students will contribute approximately 9% of their income for an average of 10 years. Through the end of 2019, Providence Public School students in the eighth grade and below will remain eligible for enrollment in the program; after this time, only students entering the school district for the first time will be eligible.

Beginning in the fall of 2017, the program initiated its recruitment and enrollment efforts of Providence Public School students in grade eight and below. Cities, counties, and states across the country have joined the Promise Movement in an effort to make post-secondary education accessible and affordable for more students. Providence Promise is one of more than 200 programs in over 40 states.

“The rising cost of higher education requires families to begin planning before their child steps foot inside a classroom,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “I encourage all Providence families to spread the news about this program and enroll their children today.”

The goal of the organization is to increase the secondary and post-secondary success of Providence children by reducing the financial burden of higher education and creating a college-going culture throughout the public schools and the larger community. Providence Promise’s unique model combines aspects from several different types of programs with demonstrated success in increasing aspirations in students and families, improving academic outcomes, and driving economic development. Through this hybrid approach, the program ensures that families, the community, and students all have a stake in the future success of Providence’s youth. “Similar to other Promise communities, our Providence Promise will level the financial playing field for Providence Public school students, create a college-going culture, produce a trained workforce, and bolster economic development for the City and the State,” stated Richard Lappin, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Providence Promise.

“As a mother of three young girls, I understand the need to plan for the future. Families today need to start sooner than ever in preparing for their child’s education,” Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said. “Providence Promise provides families a starting point in that process in a community that will help them navigate the road to higher education. Thank you to Founder Richard Lappin and Executive Director Frank Cruz for investing in the future of our state by helping us invest in our children.”

Providence Promise parent, Christine Davis, shared a moving, personal testimony of the program. Christine is the proud parent of four daughters, aged 9, 7, 5, and 3, each of whom she has enrolled in the program and has started a college savings account for. “I believe that we are the biggest advocates for our children’s future,” said Ms. Davis. “Providence Promise has given me hope. Hope that it is possible for me to be the biggest support in my children’s’ lives. That I can make a difference in their future…The Providence Promise program gave me hope that I too could witness my children have a better life… If you have a dream for your family and the weight of the world has not given you much hope, there is a way through Providence Promise.”

“Providence Promise is an investment in the future of our City – it is an investment in our kids. As we work to double our enrollment by the end of the year, we ask all members of the community to commit as champions of the program. With the help of our schools, churches, businesses, elected officials, families, and other partners, we can ensure that every public school student in Providence will have access to the resources they need to make their dreams a reality through higher education,” said Director of Outreach and Enrollment, Madalyn Ciampi.

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