Date ArticleType
11/16/2020 Member News
Saginaw Promise Reaches New Milestone…$1,025,049 in Scholarships!

Saginaw Promise made a commitment to Saginaw and its students—eight years later it’s keeping its promise! With a bit of Magic, support from community donors, partners and volunteers, the Saginaw Promise has achieved a major milestone. Since 2012, the organization has awarded $1,025,049 in scholarships to 590 scholars! 2020 marks the organization’s ninth group of scholars to receive scholarships. The graduation rates for Saginaw’s high schools have risen, dropout rates have decreased, FAFSA completion has grown and students are earning program certificates and degrees! Brianna Robinson, a 2012 SASA graduate, was in the first class of students to receive the Saginaw Promise scholarship. Brianna also became her family’s first college graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and now planning to earn her master’s degree in Health Care Management. Brianna shared, “I remain extremely thankful for receiving the Saginaw Promise scholarship and support and I would encourage today’s high school students to pursue their assistance.”

The Saginaw Promise formed in 2009 with an eleven member volunteer board and soon after hired a program Director. The organization’s focus is “working to affect Saginaw’s economy and quality of life by promoting and supporting a culture of postsecondary education for all of its graduating students through information, programming and the awarding of “last dollar” scholarships”. The organization’s goal is for all of Saginaw’s graduating students to receive a program certificate or degree with the promise and assistance of a “last dollar” scholarship for students who live in and graduate from a high school in the Promise Zone (which includes, the cities of Saginaw, Zilwaukee, Kochville and that area of Buena Vista that is designated to the Saginaw Public School District). The Saginaw Promise believes that postsecondary education is a “change agent” for impacting Saginaw’s future and that of its students; a beacon of hope. When the group first formed, the organization faced skepticism and some push back from people who believed that the group wouldn’t be able to accomplish what it proposed. Joyce Seals, Saginaw Promise Chairperson and former Mayor of Saginaw, recalls being told during a meeting that the organization would not be around long enough to see the type of change the group spoke of. “Those comments hurt”; Seals recalled. She returned to her car and wept, but through the tears she became even more determined along with her fellow board members to prove the detractors wrong. John Humphreys, Saginaw attorney and the first Chairman of the Saginaw Promise Board of Directors, shared…“When founded in 2009 a million dollars in scholarships was a dream—and a distant promise. The news of over a million dollars in scholarships to nearly 600 student’s shows that dreams do come true and promises can be fulfilled. Congratulations to the students, the staff and the volunteers that make the Saginaw Promise possible. Most of all, thank you and congratulations to the donors that make it all a reality.”

Saginaw Promise has had many angels to support the organization, for example, Magic Johnson, entrepreneur and NBA Legend, agreed to donate his time to serve as keynote speaker for its first fundraiser and has returned several times to lend his celebrity to help raise scholarship and program funding for the organization. “The Saginaw Promise has been able to do what it does, because of the wonderful support we have received from individuals, corporations, organizations, Foundations, area partners and volunteers; people who share the belief that postsecondary education is the impetus for change. Their support has been an investment to change the future of Saginaw and the lives of its students”, stated Deborah Sanchez, Saginaw Promise Director. To raise programming and scholarship funding, the Saginaw Promise is conducting its “Community Campaign.” To donate or to learn more about the organization, visit or telephone (989)755-0545. #saginawpromise