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Benton Harbor Promise Scholar: Nancy Martinez.

After reading John Grisham novels during her junior year in high school (Benton Harbor high school), Nancy knew she wanted to major in criminal justice and possibly become a prosecutor like one of Grisham’s characters. To start her journey, Nancy enrolled at Southwestern Michigan College (Dowagiac, MI).  The oldest of four and the first in her family to attend college, Nancy not only graduated but graduated with honors from SMC this past spring with the financial help of the Benton Harbor Promise.  Nancy is currently working on her bachelor’s in criminal justice with the plans to graduate May 2019.  “The Promise scholarship allowed me to fully focus on my college studies.” said Nancy.   Since launching in 2011, the Promise has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships to deserving students like Nancy attending either community college or eligible career technical certificate program.  Receiving an Associate’s degree is the first step for many Promise scholars.  At the Promise we believe all students deserve the opportunity to pursue their post secondary aspirations and lack of funds should not hinder or impede their pursuit. Please consider donating to the Benton Harbor Promise this Giving Tuesday so that many others like Nancy can achieve their educational goals.

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You can improve the lives of everyone in our region by guaranteeing that our students can reach higher, fulfill their educational dreams and contribute to the social and economic resurgence of the Benton Harbor community. That’s a promise.




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How Do We Help Our Children?

We make college accessible by paying for tuition and fees for two years at any accredited community college or trade school in Michigan where a student is accepted. We also help support them when applying for school and throughout the entire college experience to ensure success.

How Do We Help Our Community?

  • The success of our students in the community helps draw companies and families to the greater Benton Harbor area
  • Boosts the local economy with increased spending on things such as housing and shopping
  • Increases school enrollment, graduation and retention rates, while reducing remediation costs
  • Raises property values and tax revenues to deliver more and better public services

Remember, you don’t have to be wealthy to help. Every little donation goes a long way towards helping our children succeed.