Birmingham Promise receives $7 MILLION in donations for local students

birmingham promise
From today’s announcement of the newest donations to Birmingham Promise. Photo via City of Birmingham

Birmingham Promise now has a massive $7M in donations to help Birmingham City School students. Thanks to three very generous corporate gifts, the program from the City of Birmingham will provide local students with scholarships, paid apprenticeships and more.

What is Birmingham Promise?

birmingham promise
Mayor Randall Woodfin is joined by Birmingham City Schools superintendent Lisa Herring and Birmingham students to announce Birmingham Promise. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Birmingham Promise is an initiative from the City of Birmingham to provide in-state tuition assistance for graduates of Birmingham City Schools (BCS), as well as apprenticeships for current students. The program began in 2020 to help local students as they continue their education. The program is based out of the Ramsay-McCormick Building in Ensley.

The apprenticeship program pairs high school juniors and seniors with one of 60 local companies to give them vital job experience. Each apprentice is paid a living wage of $15/hour, and gets high school credit and access to community mentors. The program also helps students create a bright future for themselves with success coaches and support staff.

Birmingham Promise is a public-private partnership. Sponsors include UAB, Vulcan Value Partners, Protective Life and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.

The big give

randall woodfin birmingham promise
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announces $7M in donations to Birmingham Promise. Photo via City of Birmingham’s Facebook

On May 25, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and Birmingham Promise Executive Director Rachel Harmon announced three new corporate donations to the initiative. Vulcan Value Partners, a local investment firm, donated a record $5M. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama committed another $1M and Protective Life Corporation also added $1M, leading to a total of $7M.

“These investments represent a commitment not only to the students who benefit directly from Birmingham Promise but to the future of our city. Birmingham Promise is laying a foundation that will create economic opportunity and prosperity here for generations to come.”

Randall Woodfin, Birmingham Mayor

Previous donations to the program include Alabama Power, Altec and Regions in 2020.

How it helps

companies involved in the birmingham promise
Just some of the companies Birmingham Promise partners with for student apprenticeships. Photo via City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office LinkedIn.

The massive amount of money donated to Birmingham Promise today will go towards helping students with in-state tuition and apprenticeships. The initiative has already helped many BCS students in a huge way:

  • 396 scholarships
  • $1.5M in tuition assistance
  • 150 paid apprenticeships

For 2021, 618 students have already applied for the program.

Learn more about Birmingham Promise and how to apply.

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Claire Hancock
Claire Hancock
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