Many are coming to realize that even though the project has created something truly ground-breaking and inspirational, we still have a long way to go until the true dream of its ideals are actualized.
There is no comprehensive plan to make the Promise a collective community program; it still only exists as an argument for an economic vehicle for college tuition. Until people realize that it will take much more community action to make this program successful, it will continue to raise doubts and suspicions.
The Kalamazoo Promise will not create direct change on its own; it needs to support the children and families in order for them to succeed. As I wrote in a previous post, the Developmental Assets model would be an excellent place to start:
Developmental Assets are common sense, positive experiences and qualities that help influence choices young people make and help them become caring, responsible adults. Studies of more than 2.2 million young people in the United States consistently show that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive. Assets have power for all young people, regardless of their gender, economic status, family, or race/ethnicity. Furthermore, levels of assets are better predictors of high-risk involvement and thriving than poverty or being from a single-parent family.
We have the opportunity to create a comprehensive vision by plugging in a model that already WORKS and using it to our advantage here in Kalamazoo.