Investing in our community— KeyBank keeps to its Promise (Ulish Carter's Column June 7, 2017)


A few months ago, Bruce Murphy, executive vice president of KeyBank, visited the New Pittsburgh Courier in an editorial board meeting, and stated that his bank had committed $6 billion to community development all over the country including Pittsburgh. A story in the Courier demonstrated that he wasn’t just talking the talk.
A check for $1 million was written out to Pittsburgh Promise for graduating Pittsburgh Public School seniors in need of money for community colleges, trade schools, or four-year universities.
Unlike the $500 or $1000 scholarships some noted organizations give for one or two semesters that may cover books, the Promise gives up to $2,500 per semester, per year, depending on the need of the student as long as that student carries a passing grade-point average at the school they entered.
The Pittsburgh Promise is the greatest thing to happen to the students in Pittsburgh Public Schools. It’s great to see banks such as KeyBank along with other businesses in Pittsburgh supporting this effort. This is an effort that needs to be duplicated in every city across the U.S. This doesn’t just help Blacks—it helps all poor, low-income, and middle-income families throughout the city, Black and White. Education is our community’s greatest need, but without money the greatest students can’t attend college.
“When making an investment of this size, you want to make sure it’s managed well,” KeyBank executive vice president Margot Copeland said to Courier reporter Christian Morrow. “It’s not enough to get students into college, we have to graduate them. The completion aspect is very important to us, and we’re pleased with the results the Promise has shown.”
She went on to say that they are thinking about starting a Promise in Cleveland.
This is what I’ve been preaching for years, that it’s vital to not just get students into colleges or trade schools; we must prepare them for the jobs which are available because all the training in the world doesn’t help in a field that is saturated. This leads to students graduating, but can’t find a job, which leads to their having to accept jobs in other fields or take a low-paying job outside of their field.
But it all comes down to…where is the money?
National News—Following President TrumpGate
Almost every week the President has fired someone from his staff mostly because of their links with Russia. Now his son-in-law, Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, is in the hot seat for setting up a secret meeting with a Russian official in the White House and not revealing it to Intelligence. The President was overseas during this and just came home over the weekend, which means all this week will be taken up by this and once again no word on the economy.
Many people are calling for impeachment, especially the Democrats, but surprisingly the Republicans are not talking. But they were the “Do Nothing Congress” during President Obama’s eight years and they are the “Do Nothing Congress” under President Trump so far.
The Democrats had better be careful about what they ask for. Will this country, especially Black people, be any better off with Vice President Mike Pence as the new President? Absolutely not. Probably the “Do Nothing Congress” would get some things done, but nothing that would benefit the poor, low, moderate or middle-income communities.
Oh, and before I could complete this column, he selfishly pulled America out of the Paris Peace Accord, and all that Peace Accord did was officially end the Vietnam War.
Sports News—Pens, Cavs
Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins as they made it to their second straight Stanley Cup finals. They have a very solid chance to repeat as they face the Nashville Predators for the Cup after beating the Ottawa Senators for the Eastern Conference title in a very exciting series.
I pick the Penguins 4 games to 2. As of this column (June 6), the series is tied at 2.
In the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers are facing the Golden State Warriors. Even though the Warriors are favorites again, I pick the Cavaliers 4 games to 2. But so far, not so good for Cleveland. As of this column (June 6), they are down 2-0.
(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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