Senior year of high school can be an emotional roller coaster, full of highs and lows.
Azhia Alvarez worried if her dreams of going to college would be financially possible. Gustavo Almazan decided he would join the military right after graduation so he could eventually pay for college. Tatyana Johnson had been applying to different universities but wasn't receiving the acceptance letters she'd hoped for.
Each to their unknown, the prospect of being college students was inching further away. That is, until four words changed everything: Harris County Promise Program.
In partnership with San Jacinto College, Pasadena ISD, and Good Reason Houston, the Harris County Promise program was established to advance degree and certificate completion and to create a college-going culture among underrepresented high school students. High school graduates from Sam Rayburn, South Houston, and Dobie high schools are eligible to receive up to three years of guaranteed tuition and additional assistance upon taking the Promise Pledge and becoming Harris County Promise Scholars. Other participating Houston-area school districts include Aldine ISD (Aldine Senior, Eisenhower, and Nimitz high schools) and Alief ISD (Taylor High School) with partnerships with Lone Star College and Houston Community College respectively.
"Being a first-generation college student, Promise is allowing me to be the first person in my family to attend college," said Alvarez.
Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College vice chancellor of strategic initiatives, says the Promise program allows students to realize that college is attainable for everyone.
"We wanted to reach deeper into these communities to give hope to all students to show them that college is an option," said Harris. "Education after high school is critical to their success to earn and provide for their families. The Promise program tells these students that they are all welcome and all eligible."
Here are the steps for current high school seniors who are interested in becoming Promise Scholars at San Jacinto College for the fall 2021 semester: