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Project Promise

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Project Promise is one of many Success Stories that have been locally nominated for recognition in celebration of CDBG's 30th Anniversary.

Success Story Details

Grantee: City of Waco
Field Office: Ft. Worth (Region 6)
Carried Out By: Baylor University
Eligibility: Public Service 570.201(e)e
Natl. Objective: Low Mod Clientele
CDBG $  40,000
Other $194,050
Total $234,050
Date Started: September 1999
Date Completed: On-going
IDIS Activity Nos: 871
Grantee Contact: Dr. Susan Johnsen (susan_johnsen@baylor.edu)
Grantee Website: City of Waco (http://www.waco-texas.com/)

Success Story Description

Since 1999, Project Promise has been a unique opportunity offered to fourth through twelfth grade gifted students in the Waco ISD who have been identified at-risk.

The Project Promise program has four goals:

  • to increase participation of students from low-income backgrounds in the summer enrichment program;
  • to assist the students in identifying interests, developing talents, and selecting careers through the use of mentors;
  • to involve participants with other gifted students;
  • and
  • to increase higher education aspirations.

Project Promise students receive full scholarships to attend University for Young People, an enrichment program held at Baylor each summer during the month of June. The program is modeled after a highly-motivational classroom with problem-based instruction, cohort groups, mentors, and a full campus experience. In addition, students enjoy year-round follow-up activities such as Super Saturdays, social, athletic, and cultural events, a Creative Problem Solving conference, and parent/teacher activities.

Project Promise will enjoy a 96% return rate of students for 2004. Approximately 82% of these students have specifically reported their great appreciation of the program and the positive impact that it has made in their lives. An eighth grade student commented, "UYP has shown me through classes and counselors that it is not impossible to go to college. It has also prepared me for a college campus. I believe that I need to get familiar with Baylor campus because I will probably come here. I also made many friends that attend Baylor or attended and when I need help, they will help me."

Many have commented on the satisfaction they receive from being surrounded with people who are like themselves. "I am surrounded by people who are truly my friends rather than the people (at my school) who I change myself for� My favorite reason for coming here is that the other people here are just like me, so I don't have to change for them," reported a seventh grader.

Several have also shown gratitude towards their mentors. A fifth grade student wrote to her mentor, "You're always there and you make me feel�like no one has make me feel and�I can talk to you in my time of needs or just to talk. You're so nice. You make me happy and just I love you."

All 100% of the students are able to identify areas of interest in which they are pursuing or would like to pursue. Another 100% report that they hope to attend college, and 97% have selected career goals for their future, with law, technology, fine arts, healthcare leading their choices. In May, 2004, three of the oldest cohort of Project Promise students will be graduating from high school and continuing academic pursuits at higher educational institutions.

Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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