The Three Rivers Promise (TRP) Board announced a public campaign Monday to fund an endowment to support graduates of Three Rivers High School in furthering their education. The goal of the Promise is to provide every graduate of Three Rivers High School with a scholarship toward tuition and mandatory fees for post-secondary education at Michigan public colleges and vocational schools.
Making the Promise happen is a community-wide effort by the people and friends of the Three Rivers area to ensure that our young people are able to pursue advanced learning after high school. TRP is volunteer-driven and organized to establish a permanent endowment as well as to continuously raise funds for the costs of scholarships and of administering the Promise. The TRP’s long-term goal is to fund all eligible Three Rivers High School students with the full cost of tuition and/or training costs. TRP will initially fund partial tuition when $3,000,000 has been raised.
TRP will help future graduates of Three Rivers High School prepare for the next steps after high school. Emphasizing the need for a program of scholarships like the Promise, Three Rivers High School Principal Carrie Balk pointed to the Three Rivers Community School’s mission “to educate, motivate and inspire all students to reach their full potential, to become successful adults, and to pursue their dreams — this means carefully constructing and navigating post-secondary education.” And she highlighted how the Promise will further that mission, “TRP will ensure every graduate is afforded the opportunity to pursue his or her hopes and dreams regardless of financial situation.”
The high cost of post-secondary education is a barrier for many families. Assisting families with education costs makes Three Rivers an attractive place to live. And a TRP scholarship relieves families of the burden of some education costs, freeing up money for other needs.
Advanced training and degrees provide a path to employment and advancement in our economy. Graduates who further their education tend to have fulfilling jobs with increased earning power, better health, and hope for future opportunities for themselves and their families.
Education beyond high school is more than a personal investment, it is a public good. TRP encourages economic growth, business viability, expanded community resources, and a stronger housing market. Christy Trammell, President and CEO of the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce, emphasized how in its 75 years the Chamber has learned that educational opportunities are one of the key components for creating a healthy community. “We see the Three Rivers Promise as an economic development tool that will enhance all the [key] components it provides [including] reduced cost education for students allowing them to further their education and obtain quality jobs,” she said. “This initiative also attracts new residents and businesses to invest in our community, creating a win-win for everyone.”
Three Rivers Promise sets an ambitious goal for the community and requires our donations, small and large. Mayor Tom Lowry, President of the TRP, believes from his experience and knowledge of the Three Rivers area that this ambitious goal is obtainable saying, “Years ago when I said that I intended to open a bookstore in Three Rivers, some people questioned my judgment. The store has succeeded for this long for the same reasons I believe that the TRP will succeed: there are a lot of caring, thoughtful people who want the children to be the best that they can be. The TRP will be a very important resource for our children and their families.”
Giving evidence of the mayor’s sense of the spirit of the Three Rivers area, Jamie Clark, prominent local businessman, said, “The Three Rivers Promise is an important tool for the future of our community, the town that I was born in and love.”
Learn more about TRP by visiting threeriverspromise.com. Join in the effort to fund it by mailing a check to: Three Rivers Promise, P. O. Box 405, Three Rivers, MI, 49093.
Three Rivers Promise Board of Directors
President Mayor Tom Lowry
Vice President Helen McCauslin
Secretary Rev. Brenda Deily
Treasurer Bruce L. Ruesink