Detroit, Baltimore Launch Initiatives Aimed at Helping Underprivileged Students
Thomas Barwick

We are applauding Detroit and Baltimore city leaders who have separately announced initiatives aimed at improving the livelihood of their city’s students.

The Huffington Post reports that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan just unveiled The Detroit Promise Zone, a new initiative that will provide all graduating high school students with two free years of community college. 

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“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a high school senior preparing for college now or a second-grader whose college career is years away,” Duggan said in a statement. “The Detroit Promise will be there to help make a college education a reality.”

According to the stipulations of the program, all high school students who have attended a Detroit high school their junior and senior years and who have been accepted into a local community college are eligible to receive funding. Private corporations have agreed to fund the program for the first two years, then tax dollars will be used in the coming years.

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Similarly, Baltimore city officials have introduced a mentoring program specifically targeted to young men of color, reports WBAL-TV. According to Baltimore superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance, 40 percent of Black male students and 31 percent of Hispanic males have been suspended. It is for that reason that he has called on local male business leaders to come to local schools and mentor male minority students.

“I’m excited to see where [it’s] going to go,” Baltimore teacher Rachel Pfister said to WBAL-TV, “and how we help these kids.”