richmond promise

where getting a degree is what counts

“Art has always been a really important part of my life,” said recent Kennedy High School graduate Melissa.

Her sister Elexis, also a recent Kennedy grad, likes the precise nature of math.

While the sisters discovered a love of learning, neither thought they would ever be able to go to college. Now with the help of the Richmond Promise, Melissa and Elexis are headed to college at UC schools.

“The Richmond Promise is a beacon of hope,” said Melissa.

The Richmond Promise is providing up to $6,000 over four years to every Richmond student who graduates from high school in the West Contra Costa Unified School District boundary area.

More than your typical scholarship program, the Richmond Promise is envisioned as a transformational opportunity for the community – making college graduation a reality for all Richmond students.

Executive director Jessie Stewart says, “We hear a lot about ‘college-going’ culture, but a shift to a ‘college-graduating’ culture is really critical to cultivate. This mindset begins to allow young people to see themselves differently, navigate pathways to opportunity and go to college with confidence. It is important to instill at a young age because it builds an expectation that college is not a privilege, but a right, and a prerequisite.”

The program is a unique collaboration between the City of Richmond, the West Contra Costa Unified School District and the Chevron Richmond Refinery, along with Contra Costa College and UC and CSU institutions.

Initial funding for the Richmond Promise was provided through a $35 million grant, to the City of Richmond, over 10 years from the Chevron Richmond Refinery.

“The Richmond Promise is helping my sister and I go to different colleges, but we’re going to stay close,” said Melissa. “I think it’s going to be one of my proudest days, when she graduates.”

We are proud to support the Richmond Promise because we know that for students, getting the degree is what counts.

To learn how to qualify for a Richmond Promise scholarship, visit