A great day for Promise students
When dealing with more than 1,000 teenagers, it helps to be a preacher or a DJ—Pittsburgh Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril acted as both and had the 1,300 seniors who qualified as Pittsburgh Promise graduates dancing and cheering as they celebrated Senior Signing Day, announcing their post-secondary educational commitments, just like star athletes do.
In fact, they celebrated so much at Duquesne University’s A.J. Palumbo Center—cheering, shaking clackers and pompoms—that they drowned out newly re-elected Mayor Bill Peduto reading a proclamation declaring May 17 “Pittsburgh Promise Senior Signing Day in Pittsburgh.”
Peduto even chuckled, and when he did, they got louder.
But he wasn’t the only one there to congratulate the seniors on the achievements, and to wish them success at the more than 100 colleges, universities, trade schools and U.S. military branches to which they’ve committed. He was joined by Pittsburgh school board members, school superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet, Hall-of-Fame Pittsburgh Steeler and Promise Board Chairman Franco Harris, Todd Moules and Margot Copeland of KeyBank—who announced a $1 million donation to the Promise, speaker Bonnie St. Claire and Promise alum, turned Clarion University graduate Torron Mollett.
Mollett, who grew up in Homewood and attended Pittsburgh Allderdice, told the seniors he didn’t think college was an option, but his mother and teachers pushed him and made sure it was.