As one of eight children in a single-parent home in a tough Pittsburgh neighborhood, the deck was stacked against Jahmiah Guillory. Between pressure from the street and the need to work to support his family, Jahmiah had little time or inclination for college. Then one day a man from the Pittsburgh Promise showed up at Jahmiah’s school, and everything changed. The deck was stacked against Jahmiah Guillory from day one. As one of eight children in a single-parent home in Northview Heights, a low-income housing project in a tough part of Pittsburgh, Jahmiah grew up in an environment of delinquency, crime, and violence. Between the culture and the need to work to support his family, Jahmiah had little time or inclination for school. College seemed out of reach. And the streets, all too close. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Learn more about the Pittsburgh Promise. > Donate to the Pittsburgh Promise. > Visit the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ website. > Then, one day, a man named Saleem Ghubril visited Jahmiah’s school and talked about promise — the Pittsburgh Promise, to be exact — a nonprofit project supported by UPMC funds, dedicated to removing the financial barriers to college for city kids like Jahmiah. Saleem, executive director of the organization, explained what it would take to qualify as a UPMC Scholar and get college tuition support through UPMC’s $100 million Pittsburgh Promise matching grant. The Pittsburgh Promise woke up a deep-buried hope in the struggling high school senior. Maybe college was within reach after all. But there was a problem — a GPA problem. Jahmiah needed to bring up his grades quickly to meet the requirements. He reached back to his childhood and middle school years — the years before the peer pressure and the hard times, the years when he had been a gifted child, a child of promise — and reconnected. He pulled his grades up just in time and made it happen. Today, a UPMC Scholar of the Pittsburgh Promise, Jahmiah is studying engineering at Penn State and working part time to help cover the costs. He’s also giving back by working as a counselor at Bethany House in the old neighborhood and by speaking at area high schools to kids just like himself. Kids looking for a promise of hope.