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    Office Of The Mayor
    Mayor's Monday Message

    Dear Friends:

    Congratulations to the 123 students who received New Haven Promise scholarships this year! The awards reflect the hard work and community service these students have demonstrated over their academic careers. There is no better public investment or priority than the success of our young people, and I can think of no better way to reward these students than with the opportunity to continue their academic success in college. I could not be more proud of our students and I am confident these latest Promise scholars will continue to impress in the years to come.

    In the second year of New Haven Promise, 352 high school seniors applied for the scholarship and 172 qualified. Of that 172, 123 accepted the scholarship, and 118 will begin their studies this fall as full-time students at a variety of Connecticut colleges and universities.

    Promise scholarships pay up to full tuition at in-state public colleges and universities and up to $2,500 at in-state private, nonprofit colleges and universities. To earn a Promise scholarship, students must live in New Haven, attend New Haven public schools, earn at least a 3.0 GPA, have 90% attendance, a positive disciplinary record and complete community service.

    The scholarship is being phased in over the next few years with the Class of 2014 being the first class to receive the full 100 percent award. Scholars from the Class of 2011 receive up to 25 percent of the scholarship. This year's scholars receive up to 50 percent and the Class of 2013 will receive up to 75 percent. To continue receiving the scholarship during all four years of college, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA.

    New Haven Promise: Scholarship is funded by Yale University. New Haven Promise: Partnership is funded by Yale-New Haven Hospital and Wells Fargo. New Haven Promise is a component fund and program of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

    Kindergarten Canvas Begins Saturday, Sign Up to Help

    Last week I joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo, United Way of Greater New Haven CEO Jack Healy, neighborhood activist Darrell Allick and educators, parents, and community leaders in announcing the launch of the first Citywide Kindergarten Canvas and the new ART of School Success parent engagement campaign. Beginning this Saturday, community volunteers and educators will fan out across the City to knock on the doors of each kindergarten family to answer questions and talk to them about simple and important things they can do to help their kindergartener succeed this school year. The ART of School Success is a research-based initiative that focuses on the importance of Attending school every day, Reading with your child every day, and setting aside time to Talk to your child every day.

    More than 100 volunteers are needed to make this campaign a success. Visit tinyurl.com/kindergarten2012 to sign up for a canvass shift.

    Dates for city-wide canvass are:

    Saturday, August 18: 9 a.m. to noon

    Saturday, August 18: 1-4 p.m.

    Tuesday, August 21: 4:30-7:30 p.m.

    Thursday, August 23: 4:30-7:30 p.m.

    Rain date: Saturday, August 25: 9 a.m.-noon; 1-4 p.m.

    Training will be provided to all volunteers, with additional information after registration. For information or questions about volunteering, please contact Joshua Mamis at 203-772-2010. Parents with questions about kindergarten can contact Daniel Diaz at 203-946-5087.

    Assistance Available for New Haven Youth Seeking Deferred Action Status

    On June 15, President Barack Obama announced that his Administration would grant temporary "deferred action" status to certain undocumented youth, enabling those who qualify to apply for work permits without fear of deportation for a period of two years.

    In anticipation of large numbers of youth seeking to apply for Deferred Action under program, the City of New Haven, Somos CT, New Haven Legal Assistance, Junta for Progressive Action, Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, Apostle Immigrant Services, and Connecticut Students for a Dream have partnered to create a streamlined process to answer eligibility questions and assist youth seeking to qualify for the program.

    While this program does not provide a path to citizenship, I commend President Barack Obama for taking this reasonable first step. Undocumented youth are among the most productive, contributing members of our communities. The only thing that distinguishes them from other children in our community is that at some point in their young lives, their parents chose to move here without documents to pursue opportunities not available elsewhere. We should do everything in our power to make sure these students have the ability to pursue their dreams, and that includes helping them qualify for deferred action. Such course will grow our economy, strengthen America, and pay tribute to the values of our parents and grandparents.

    New Haven Legal Assistance has agreed to be the coordinating agency and central entry point for youth seeking to determine eligibility for deferred action status. Beginning August 15, students may call Legal Assistance at 203-946-4811 for an appointment. After an initial interview and preliminary assessment, Legal Assistance will either advise and assist the youth themselves, or refer them to a pro bono immigration attorney or partner legal services organization, including Apostle Immigrant Services and the Jerome Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School. The whole process will be entirely confidential and safe.

    For many people, the application process will be relatively simple and straightforward, and it will not be necessary to work with an attorney. NHLA will refer those individuals to group application clinics hosted by AIS and Junta. The groups will also continue their outreach efforts to inform individuals about the program and how to qualify.

    Fuel Assistance Available

    Operation Fuel is running a limited emergency energy assistance program for Connecticut utility customers who are experiencing a financial crisis and either have had their utility service terminated or are in danger of losing their service. The energy assistance program, which began this month, will run through October 31, 2012 or until funds are exhausted. Households that meet specific requirements will be able to receive a one-time energy grant up to $500. Households aren't eligible for this program if they received a grant for utility assistance from Operation Fuel during the 2011-2012 winter program. For more information, go to www.operationfuel.org.

    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-8200


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