Birmingham Promise awarded $1.8 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies

Mayor Woodfin at the Birmingham Promise announcement.
Mayor Woodfin at Tuesday’s announcement. Photo via City of Birmingham

On Tuesday, October 9, the City of Birmingham, Birmingham City Schools and the Birmingham Promise announced some groundbreaking news. Birmingham Promise received a substantial grant from a national organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies. We’re talking $1.8 million big. We’ve got all the details for you, from what this grant entails to what it means to the Birmingham community.

Bloomberg Philanthropies investment in Birmingham

Birmingham City Hall
The announcement was held at Birmingham City Hall on Tuesday morning. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Bloomberg Philanthropies committed $1.8 million to Birmingham Promise. This $1.8 million grant allows for the program to expand its apprenticeship and internship program for seniors in Birmingham City Schools. As Mayor Woodfin described it, this investment is “simply game-changing.”

Why? Because this grant will provide more work opportunities for Birmingham’s high school students, so they can gain valuable skills before entering the work world.

“This grant opens up opportunities for students to dream big, obtain goals and have self-confidence in their ability to go into any type of corporate environment and be successful. The opportunities are limitless. We have students who may be first generation college students or who may be living in poverty. And this provides a lifeline for many of our students. Now, they have the capabilities to be successful on any playing field.”

Dr. Mark Sullivan, Superintendent, Birmingham City Schools

And beyond

Through a highly competitive process, eight other cities and two states received similar grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

  • Atlanta
  • Baltimore
  • Camden
  • Charlotte
  • Denver
  • Louisville
  • Providence
  • Washington D.C.
  • Delaware
  • Texas

The national organization committed $25 million to prepare young people for careers while also helping them recover from fallbacks caused by COVID-19.

“High school students have had their educations turned upside down by the pandemic. To put them on a path to success, we need to ensure they have access to the opportunities they need to reach their full potential – and that includes creating new avenues for them to get there. Apprentice-style and school-based career programs allow students to get the skills and high-quality, on-the-job experience they need – and employers are looking for. These programs will help more young people begin successful careers and build a stronger future for our country.”

Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder, Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies

Birmingham Promise: enabling greatness

Birmingham Promise
Birmingham Promise awarded $1.8 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies 4

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we’re big fans of Birmingham Promise. This organization started as Mayor Woodfin’s vision and has blossomed throughout his time as mayor.

Birmingham Promise has two big purposes. First, it provides tuition assistance for graduates of Birmingham City Schools who attend public colleges in Alabama. Second, it has an internship and apprenticeship program where high school seniors gain work experience while earning money and academic credit.

The organization has impacted so many students, and we’ve got the numbers for you. Since 2020,

  • Almost 800 high school graduates have received financial support + success coaching in college
  • Over 150 students have had apprenticeships
  • An addition 100 student apprentices are expected to be placed in jobs this spring

With Bloomberg Philanthropies investment, Birmingham Promise is able to continue to enable greatness in Birmingham students.

“We are so grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for investing in our program and more importantly for investing in our Birmingham students. Working as apprentices and interns helps our students earn money, get career experience, and start building professional networks. These are benefits that last a lifetime

Rachel Harmon, Executive Director, Birmingham Promise

Are you as excited as we are for Birmingham Promise? Let us know on Instagram.

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Sonia Kerrigan
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