Back in 2006 we met in a small, elementary school library with 16 second grade students and their parents and guardians, and announced establishment of the Promise Fund. Over the years we’ve watched those tiny children grow into young men, who now refer to themselves as ‘Brothers of Knowledge for College’ – or BKC. Their middle school years have been challenging, but BKC students have proven they are resilient and are able to meet any challenge. We hope you too will be inspired as you navigate this website and learn more about their potential and our efforts to support them. We invite you to join us in this journey. Become a financial supporter and be part of something that will not only change lives, but change our nation for the better.
-Dennis Harbaugh & Juanita Williams
The Harbaugh-Williams Education Promise Fund based in Waterloo, Iowa was established in January 2006 by Dennis Harbaugh and Juanita Williams, who provided the initial seed donation of $85,000. The Fund is designed to benefit an all-male, African-American class of public school students who were in 2nd grade in 2006. For qualifying students the Promise Fund will eventually cover the first and second year of tuition costs at a college or university of the student’s choice. The institution of higher learning may be any community college, private college, university or state university chosen by the recipient, however, tuition paid will not exceed tuition costs at the most expensive of Iowa’s three state universities and will be subject to available funding.
In order to qualify for the Promise Fund scholarships, students must meet or exceed requirements at each grade level (elementary, middle and high school).
As of May 2012, $283,000 has been raised and is available for scholarships. It is estimated that $394,000 will be needed to fully fund ‘The Promise’ of tuition costs beginning in 2016 -- the high school graduation year for most of these young men.
The Harbaugh-Williams Education Promise Fund exists to increase the economic strength and independence of African-American communities. The Fund will strengthen the academic performance of minority students, reduce the school drop-out rate, and help children reach their full potential. The Fund will provide college tuition assistance to minority students so they will receive higher education degrees and be equipped for a life of higher paying jobs, meaningful careers, and service to their community.