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A few months ago, Bruce Murphy, executive vice president of KeyBank, visited the New Pittsburgh Courier in an editorial board meeting, and stated that his bank had committed $6 billion to community development all over the country including Pittsburgh. A story in the Courier demonstrated that he wasn’t just talking the talk.

A check for $1 million was written out to Pittsburgh Promise for graduating Pittsburgh Public School seniors in need of money for community colleges, trade schools, or four-year universities.

Unlike the $500 or $1000 scholarships some noted organizations give for one or two semesters that may cover books, the Promise gives up to $2,500 per semester, per year, depending on the need of the student as long as that student carries a passing grade-point average at the school they entered.

The Pittsburgh Promise is the greatest thing to happen to the students in Pittsburgh Public Schools. It’s great to see banks such as KeyBank along with other businesses in Pittsburgh supporting this effort. This is an effort that needs to be duplicated in every city across the U.S. This doesn’t just help Blacks—it helps all poor, low-income, and middle-income families throughout the city, Black and White. Education is our community’s greatest need, but without money the greatest students can’t attend college.

“When making an investment of this size, you want to make sure it’s managed well,” KeyBank executive vice president Margot Copeland said to Courier reporter Christian Morrow. “It’s not enough to get students into college, we have to graduate them. The completion aspect is very important to us, and we’re pleased with the results the Promise has shown.”

She went on to say that they are thinking about starting a Promise in Cleveland.

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