UConn commits scholarship for city teens

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Back in August, 250 city high school students in New Haven received scholarship money to make college dreams come true. Tuesday it was announced that more funding for program is coming from UConn.

“They put their money where their mouth is,” said Mayor Toni Harp, at a City Hall press conference. “They put their money where their heart is and they’re heart is in all of you. We believe in you.”

Harp had some impassioned words for teen students in New Haven. Despite Connecticut having one of the largest education achievement gaps in the country, the New Haven Promise, offers scholarships for students who want to go to college in the state. UConn announced it’s commiting an extra $5,000 per student for those heading to UConn campuses.

“By helping talented students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to attend one of the nations top public universities, we’re helping to close that achievement gap and fulfill promise of education in Connecticut,” said UConn President Susan Herbst.

Students maintaining a B average and high attendance can qualify for the Promise program. Yale dished out $4 million for students last year through New Haven Promise. The university president chairs the program’s board.

“It is great to create a college-bound culture in this city,” Yale President Dr. Peter Salovey said.

Graduating seniors said the money takes away worry and replaces it with motivation to succeed.

“This is a motivation for all of us,” said Destini Jones, a student at New Haven Academy. “This is big, huge motivation.”

“I wasn’t planning on getting a lot of help from my parents,” said Tarik Bush, a New Haven high school student. “So with this promise, it’s really boosted my confidence and makes me want to go to college.”

School funding will be available for graduating seniors this year.

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