Walmart donation helps send Saginaw students to college - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Walmart donation helps send Saginaw students to college

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(02/05/13) - A big donation from Walmart will help send students in Saginaw to college. Tuesday, the company presented a check to the Saginaw Promise Zone.

That big check from Walmart totaled $40,000. The Saginaw Promise will use that money to pay the first two years of college for qualifying students in Saginaw Public Schools.

Representatives from Walmart met with district leaders Tuesday morning at Arthur Hill High School, where they presented the money.

Walmart says it's important to give back to the local community, and even better that they are giving to help students further their education.

The class of 2012 was the first graduating class to benefit from the Saginaw Promise.

School officials say they have seen a significant increase in the number of students going to college since the Promise Zone was established.

Last year, those young men and women collected more than $7 million in scholarships. More than $200,000 was awarded by the Promise Zone, and more than 98 percent of the district's graduating seniors applied and were accepted to college.

"We are really promoting college as the entrance way into the future, and the Promise has provided and icon of hope for students, so I think all of that working together has pushed our kids in another direction," said Joyce Seals, Saginaw Promise Zone chair.

Superintendent Carlton D. Jenkins says donations like the one from Walmart Tuesday help the district meet its academic goals.

"We're beginning to see a lot of support. This was significant for us... This is going to support our goal of building a college-going, career-going culture," he said.

"As a large company, we always want to involved in the community and do things that are going to help the community because they support our business, so this was just a great avenue to be able to do that," said Conni Mitchell, of Walmart.

The money will help students like Arthur Hill senior Charnay Gloss.

"It will help me not have to work throughout college," she said.

Charnay wants to attend Michigan State next year. She's worked hard to keep good grades.

"I'm in the running to be valedictorian this year," she said.

She hopes her hard work will pay off in money for college. Last week, she applied for the Promise Zone scholarship.

"It will help my parents a lot, because they have to take care of my little sister and my little brother, too," she said.

Last year, nearly 100 students were awarded scholarships through the Promise.

On April 9, Magic Johnson will come to Saginaw to help raise money for the program.

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