Hazel Park Promise Zone Gets Grant Money from Walmart

(press release, July 2, 2012)

Hazel Park Promise Zone Authority received a $50,000 contribution from the Walmart Foundation to assist with college readiness programming for the students at Hazel Park High School.

The grant was presented to Hazel Park Promise Zone Authority Board Members State Representative Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods), Chairman Judge Gene Schnelz, and Executive Director Pegg Roberts, during a check presentation ceremony at the Hazel Park School Administration Building.  “I am honored to be a part of this momentous occasion,” said Lipton.

The grant helps secure an additional, matched $100,000 donation from Sutar Sutarek Foundation to ensure college scholarships and college readiness for every high school graduate from Hazel Park High School.  The grant “will work to provide college readiness programming to ensure the success of our high school graduates as first-generation college bound students,” said executive director Pegg Roberts.

Today there are ten communities across the state of Michigan designated as Promise Zones.  Hazel Park Promise Zone is one such statutorily created entity designed to provide educational opportunities to students that live in, and graduate high school in, the Hazel Park School District.  The Hazel Park Promise Zone has the potential to provide a two-year college education to students who would otherwise be unable to pursue higher education.  The Promise Zone will have the added critical benefit of helping to stabilize Hazel Park’s neighborhoods and housing market by coupling the value-added prospect of college scholarships to residency in the Hazel Park School District.

“I am grateful for the altruism of these foundations, which comes at a time when Michigan’s school districts have been dealt devastating financial blows to their programs,” said Lipton.  “It is imperative that students have opportunities for higher education if they are to succeed in the job market of the 21st century and the Hazel Park Promise Zone plays a critical role in their future success.”

The Hazel Park School District comprises all of Hazel Park and the eastern most part of Ferndale.  To find out more about Hazel Park Schools and the Promise Zone go to http://www.hazelpark.k12.mi.us/.