Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Oakland launches ‘Promise’ initiative to triple number of college graduates

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Antwan Wilson have launched the Oakland Promise. Over the next decade this cradle-to-career effort will triple the number of low-income Oakland public school graduates who complete a post-secondary education.

“This is the single most transformative thing we can do for Oakland and its young people,” said Mayor Schaaf. “In a district where 71 percent of students are low-income, ensuring that more of our kids earn a college degree has the potential to interrupt generational poverty. Today, we’re raising the bar for this entire community by setting out a clear expectation for our children’s futures and giving them the tools and the support to exceed those expectations.”

Within a decade the Oakland Promise will:

• Open 55,000 college savings accounts for Oakland children
• Invest $100 million in college scholarships
• Serve nearly 200,000 students and families across Oakland
• Triple the number of college graduates from Oakland

“The partnerships and resources coming together through the Oakland Promise will help us ensure that every student graduates prepared for success in college, career, and community,” said Superintendent Wilson.

Mayor Schaaf and Superintendent Wilson were joined at Oakland High School for the launch by Oakland Promise lead partners from the City of Oakland, Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), East Bay College Fund and the Oakland Public Education Fund. California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and OUSD graduate and current Oakland teacher Michael Jefferson delivered keynote remarks, speaking to the importance of the broad-based Oakland effort.

“For too many, economic growth has become a spectator sport and we know that income inequality is synonymous with barriers to educational opportunity,” said Lt. Governor Newsom. “The Oakland Promise offers a model for the rest of the state, weaving together the best practices to tackle generational poverty in a way never done before.”

The Chamber would like to thank its members who gave generously to Oakland Promise: Kaiser Permanente, PG&E, The Clorox Company, Golden State Warriors, AT&T, Comcast, Wells Fargo, Donahue Fitzgerald, East Bay Community Fund, EMC Research, Madison Park Financial, and Visit Oakland.

If you would like to donate to Oakland Promise, please visit

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