The Hazel Park Promise will begin for all Hazel Park High School 2012 graduates, it will provide scholarship dollars after all other scholarship and financial assistance is totaled, to provide an associate's degree OR its equivalent at Oakland Community College. To qualify you must graduate from Hazel Park High School and reside in the city of Hazel Park.
- A city at the core of a strong region whose neighborhoods are vibrant, inclusive, and attractive to people of all ages, as well as businesses small and large;
- A public school district at the center of the city that provides excellent educational opportunities to all of its children;
- A generation of young people at the heart of the district who are equipped to pursue higher education with vigor and who are dedicated to a lifetime of service and societal contribution.
- Leverage the development of Hazel Park's neighborhoods, and see them through to prosperity;
- Further enhance academic excellence in Hazel Park Public Schools;
- Provide college scholarships to Hazel Park students, and see them through to graduation.
- Increase high school completion rates, college readiness, and post high school success of all students in Hazel Park schools;
- Deploy a well prepared and energized work force of community volunteers.
Moving toward matching the grant:
In October of 2011 the Sutar-Sutaruk-Meyer Foundation proposed a very large matching grant to the Hazel Park Promise Zone. The foundation indicated that they would match dollar-for-dollar any money raised for the Promise Zone up to $100,000 and gave the Promise Zone until December of 2012 to meet the challenge. Persons and groups across the School District have been hard at work to achieve this goal. By raising funds with “jeans days” and “hat days”, selling cookies and candygrams and a wide variety of other activities, the students, PTA and staff at Webb Elementary School recently donated $2,000 to the Promise Zone. Not to be out-done, the staff and students at Webster Elementary School, through their “Pennies For The Promise Program” and a variety of other undertakings-- including a number of staff members getting pies in the face as certain goals were met, raised $2,058 for the Promise Zone. The Hazel Park Education Association is donating $1,000 to the Promise Zone. The student government (known as BOD) at the High School raised $2,000 through a Rummage Sale and they were greatly helped when 9 members of the AFSCME 271 Local passed up their pay and helped in the set-up and clean-up afterwards. The Junior High will be making a sizable presentation to the Promise Zone at their 8th grade promotion ceremony at the end of the school year. Both Hoover and United Oaks Elementary Schools have set their sights on the autumn of 2012 to finalize their fund-raising. A Hazel Park graduate from a class dating back to the early 1950’s recently donated $10,000. Several persons have donated $1,000 checks as well. A 1973 graduate recently donated $2,000. And the efforts continue. Currently the Hazel Park Promise Zone and all of its supporters have raised over $53,000 toward the $100,000 goal.
The first year of the promise:
The Hazel Park High School graduating class of 2012 will be the first class of graduates eligible for Promise Zone Scholarship monies. These funds can be used at any trade school, community college, college or university in the State of Michigan. 92 graduating seniors have qualified for Promise Zone funding if they establish a need within the Promise Zone guidelines. Any student who has not received scholarships or grants in an amount at least large enough to let them attend a community college will get Promise Zone financial assistance to make attendance possible for two years. Promise Zone dollars can only be spent on tuition or required fees such as lab fees. For a student who receives no grant monies or other scholarships this could mean up to $2,000 per year. As another example, if a student receives a local scholarship for $300 the Promise Zone would provide them with the remaining, necessary $1,700. Promise Zone Scholars must carry a full load of classes, maintain good grades and document their progress to the Promise Zone Board. Many of these students will be the first in their families to attend college.