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RPS 205 green lights a yearly $100,000 contribution to Rockford Promise

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — RPS 205 will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next several years to get its students ready for college and aware of special scholarship opportunities available to them.

On Tuesday, the school approved giving Rockford Promise $100,000 to Rockford Promise on a yearly basis. The agenda item did not specify whether or not the board would need to approve this funding each and every year.

Rockford Promise is an organization whose goal is to provide every student who goes through RPS 205 an opportunity to attend college for free.

However, none of the money RPS sends to Rockford Promise would be used directly for scholarships. Instead it will be used for counseling and mentorship for students of all ages.

RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett says teaching kids about these opportunities is vital since the vast majority of people who got Rockford Promise scholarships last year were first generation college students.

"Our first cohort of the 96 students that were selected last year, 81 of them were first generation college students and that was right out of the gate," Jarrett said. "We think we can do so much more and the way we can do more for those students is by investing in Rockford Promise and our other community partners to get that message out as soon as possible."

Jarrett also said this mentorship is key because there are certain benchmarks Rockford Promise sets to be eligible for scholarships such as having a 3.0 GPA.

Rockford Promise reported that nearly a quarter of this year's graduating class at RPS 205 applied for a Rockford Promise scholarship. Currently, the organization is partnered with Northern Illinois University, Rockford University and Rock Valley College.

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Investigative Reporter

William Ingalls is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. He joined the team in 2019 as a photographer after graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and English from Augustana College. William was born and raised in Rockford.

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