CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Dec. 21, 2015)UrbanPromise Charlotte has received a $5,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to support the organization’s StreetLeader program.

“Support from community partners such as Duke Energy fuels our passion and truly makes our programming possible. We were thrilled and encouraged when we learned we had been selected for the grant,” said UrbanPromise Charlotte Executive Director Jimmy McQuilkin. “Having Duke Energy’s formal backing is invaluable and helps to reinforce the goals and direction of UrbanPromise as we enter 2016. We are so thankful!”

Due in large part to a lack of quality education options, prospects for climbing out of poverty are worse in Charlotte than in almost any other major city in America. The Charlotte area has ranked third to last among the country’s 100 largest metro areas for upward mobility, according to researchers at Harvard University, the Treasury Department and elsewhere. UrbanPromise Charlotte was established to help address that need through a simple yet effective model.

UrbanPromise annually provides approximately 25 Charlotte high school StreetLeaders with year-round employment, training, tutoring, college preparation, and mentoring to help them succeed both inside and outside of the program.  In turn, the StreetLeaders are challenged to use their influence to make positive changes in the lives of their elementary and middle school counterparts by serving in UrbanPromise’s AfterSchool program. The goal of the AfterSchool program is to provide opportunities for elementary and middle school students to improve their academic performance, develop necessary life skills, create positive relationships with caring adults, explore the arts, and nurture their faith.

The Duke Energy Foundation grant will enable UrbanPromise to provide StreetLeaders with competitive hourly pay, weekly subject and ACT tutoring, job training, and provisions. These components are crucial to the overall success and preparedness of each StreetLeader as they, in turn, work to cultivate the educational growth and academic achievements of the younger students who participate in the AfterSchool program.

“We support worthwhile programs that strengthen and improve the development of local communities,” said Betsy Conway, Duke Energy manager of Charlotte Community Affairs. “UrbanPromise’s StreetLeader program offers an innovative way to address critical education needs of youth in our community.”

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities. Annually, the foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. Duke Energy has long been committed to supporting the communities where its customers and employees live and work, and will continue to build on this legacy. For more information, visit duke-energy.com/foundation.

UrbanPromise Charlotte

Reach a child, raise a leader, restore community.

UrbanPromise reaches younger children through afterschool and summer programs and raises high school leaders who are employed as mentors in these programs.  Our ultimate goal is to restore community as a new generation of young leaders affects social, economic, and spiritual revitalization in their neighborhoods and the city of Charlotte.  For more information, including a newsletter sign-up and details on volunteering, mentoring, or providing meals for StreetLeader trainings, please visit www.urbanpromisecharlotte.org.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and follow our blog.