In short, the We Promise program is a year-round mentoring program that empowers African American males within the Pittsburgh Public Schools to improve their grades and attendance rates so they can qualify to receive $40,000 to use for college through the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship fund. Program participants are extremely close to qualifying for the scholarship and pursuing their goal of obtaining a college degree.
Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Dr. Rahmon Hart, serves on the We Promise Advisory Board and engages as a weekly mentor along with members of the Collegiate 100 of Duquesne University. Dr. Hart and the College 100 have been mentoring a group of students within the Pittsburgh Public Schools for the last two years.
The leadership summit that was held on campus is one of several conferences that were held for the We Promise students over the last couple years. However, this was the first time the conference was held on a college campus—which is fitting given Duquesne’s mission. School of Education Dean Dr. Olga Welch provided a warm Duquesne welcome and inspirational message that appropriately set the stage for the conference. In addition, Dr. Hart and members of the Collegiate 100 facilitated an academic success workshop and an interactive panel discussion as part of the conference agenda.
Dr. Hart highlighted the importance of this program and similar community service initiatives.
“I believe that this program is in perfect alignment with the mission and identity of Duquesne University that embraces a spirit of service. I volunteer my time on a weekly basis to mentor these young men because I believe in them and I want to see them reach their fullest potential. They are on the receiving end of so many negative messages about who they are and what they can be. As an adult who loves and cares about them deeply, it is my duty to provide them with guidance and support at this critical point in their life. A few hours of mentoring a week can be life changing for some of these young men.”
Note: The Collegiate 100 is a student organization at Duquesne University that is comprised of African American males who have committed to mentoring youth and engaging in community service within the inner city.