Richmond Promise Awards College Scholarships to over 500 Scholars

The organization has pledged $4.5M to support their largest cohort of Scholars through degree-attainment.

For immediate release

May 6,2019

Richmond, Calif. (May 2019) – On Friday May 3, civic and education leaders across West Contra Costa County gathered to recognize the fourth class of Richmond Promise Scholarship recipients. 500 graduating seniors from 16 high schools across Richmond were honored at a ceremony held at the Richmond Civic Auditorium. Civic, business, philanthropy, and education leaders that turned out to support scholarship recipients included Mayor Tom Butt and members of the Richmond City Council, Superintendent Matthew Duffy and trustees of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh, Vice Chancellor of Contra Costa Community College District, and other higher education leaders from UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, UC Davis, SF State, Diablo Valley College, and Berkeley City College who have committed resources to support Richmond Promise Scholars. Mayra Padilla, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Equity at Contra Costa College, inspired the graduating class with her keynote speech.

The Richmond Promise is providing  $1,500 per year to assist eligible residents of Richmond obtain a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree or Career and Technical Education (CTE) certificate from an accredited four-year university or community college. The financial commitment to the class of 2019 totals over $4.5 Million.

Kennedy High School Scholar Sam Bauzon delivered the student keynote. She shared some of her story and gave advice to the students and partners in the room. “To me, college is a way to give back to my parents. It’s a way to end the circle of poverty. It’s a way for me choose what I want to study. Many times I have been intimidated by college,” Sam said. “I didn’t believe I would be able to afford it, and that I am not prepared for the rigor of the classes. But The Richmond Promise believes in me. The Richmond Promise sees the potential in everyone here and is willing to see us into success. They are funding our dreams.”


Over 1000 people from all sectors of the community showed their support for our Scholars by attending the celebration. This massive show of support is a prime example of how the Richmond Promise is much more than a scholarship – it is a community-wide effort to build a college going and graduating culture in Richmond through institutional partnerships and pathways of support.

“The Promise is as strong as its partnerships. We recognize that our mission is much larger than any one organization and necessitates alignment across school partners, local nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and most importantly, our students,” said Executive Director Jessie Stewart. “This is why relationships, trust, and community are at the core of our work. Together, we can create a Richmond where every young person has the opportunity to own and define their future, and shape the direction of this City for generations to come. The future is bright.”

This night is a huge milestone for our Scholars, as many of them prepare to leave Richmond for the first time in pursuit of their career goals. We are so proud that this Fall we will have over 1000 Scholars representing Richmond across 100 colleges and universities nationwide!

Thank you to our event sponsors who made this celebration possible: Kaiser Permanente, The California Endowment, Sims Metal Management, Mechanics Bank, Republic Services, and Travis Credit Union.

Additional information about the Richmond Promise is available at



About the Richmond Promise


Launched in January 2016 through a public-private partnership between the City of Richmond and it’s largest employer, Chevron, the Richmond Promise is a community-wide college success initiative to build a college graduating culture in Richmond, CA. The Richmond Promise was created with the belief that all Richmond students should have the opportunity to develop their skills and reach their full potential, regardless of race, income level, or personal background. Through a college scholarship, collaborative cross-sector partnerships, and supportive programming, the Richmond Promise aims to ensure all students in Richmond excel to and through higher education, reach their career goals, and become change-making leaders in the Richmond community. The Richmond Promise invests directly in our students’ futures through the Richmond Promise Scholarship. Scholars receive $1,500 each year at any not-for-profit 2-year or 4-year college or Career Technical Education Program. We strive to support all students in Richmond to reach their higher education goals, which is why any Richmond student graduating from an eligible high school can access the Scholarship. We believe that our students are leaders who will lead Richmond for generations to come.

Media Contacts:


Grace Peter, Development Manager, Richmond Promise


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