Ten years ago, we launched The Pittsburgh Promise with high hopes along with some fear and trepidation. The Promise was based on an audacious vision for a future where all our urban youth are equipped to reach post-secondary success, our public schools are serving all children excellently, our city is flourishing in all its neighborhoods, and our workforce is widely diverse and highly skilled to advance a region that is good and just for all.

We believed that one $20,000 scholarship at a time, our post-secondary investments would serve as a crucial building block for thousands of youth across the city and would fill a pipeline of well-prepared and diverse young leaders ready to enter our region’s workforce.

Now, ten years later, The Pittsburgh Promise is in its strongest position since inception. We have educational and employment outcomes that are contributing to a regional workforce that is indeed skilled and diverse. We have raised over $200 million to support urban youth in their pursuit of a college degree or technical school certification. We are actively creating an employment pipeline to fuel the future needs of Pittsburgh’s business community. We announced data-driven corrections to our scholarship model, and we have mapped out a solid sustainability plan for The Promise.

School children getting on buses at the end of a school day

More than 8,100 students have received Promise scholarships so far. The vast majority of our scholars come from very low- to moderate-income families. In fact, 74% receive need-based grants such as the federal Pell grant or Pennsylvania’s PHEAA grant, in addition to their Promise scholarship. Another 23% come from middle-income families who are not eligible for government grants but who are stretched beyond what is reasonable to pay for their children’s higher education. This socio-economic reality for 97% of our scholars means that pursuing a post-secondary degree might have been out of their reach without our support.

As of the publication of this report, our scholarships have exceeded $120 million and our students have attended more than 135 Pennsylvania institutions.

It is humbling to think about how this investment impacts individual lives and families, educational institutions and their communities, as well as employers and their companies. In our second decade, we expect to serve another 10,000 students and invest another $140 million in their education and in our economy. In order to realize this, we must raise another $63 million. With a formidable track record behind us, committed friends beside us, and promising youth before us, we will press on toward the goal of a region that is good and just for all.

We are thankful to have you among the friends who journey with us.



Saleem Ghubril, Executive Director and Franco Harris, Chair