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Four businesses make Muskegon Area Promise commitments

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Following success in Kalamazoo and other Michigan communities, Muskegon is one step closer to funding the Muskegon Area Promise.

A $400,000 commitment announced Friday gets the program close to the halfway point of a $900,000 private donation goal.

The Promise program provides funding for the first two years of college for local high school graduates with a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Muskegon Area Intermediate School District officials say the $400,000 allows eligible 2015 high school graduates to participate at either Muskegon Community College or the local Baker College location. 

Other funding comes from the establishment of the Promise Zone Authority as well as other donation sources.

"This is a game-changer for the Muskegon Area," MAISD Superintendent John Severson says in a media statement. "From the first day of preschool, we will work with our children and their families to make going to college a reality."

Hines Corporation, Nichols, ADAC Automotive and the Alcoa Foundation each pledged $100,000.

The companies announced the cumulative $400,000 commitment at a Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce event on Friday morning.  

The MAISD says the Michigan Department of Treasury recently approved the area’s Promise development plan, which begins with the Muskegon, Holton and Muskegon Heights public school districts.

Officials say the plan extends countywide for 2017 high school graduates.

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