Torron Mollett stands at the corner of Nadir Way and Kelly Street in Homewood where he grew up. 36 ThePittsburghPromise APROMISEKEPT A S O N E O F T H E L A R G E S T P R O G R A M S ofitskindinthe country,ThePittsburghPromise marksitsfirstdecadeof providingcollegeeducationstothousandsofPittsburgh students.Arecentgraduatereflectsonthelife-changing experiencesthathelpedhimholdontoandachievehisgoal of acollegeeducation. ThePromise,asupportingorganizationofThe Pittsburgh Foundation,operatesundertheprinciplethateducation beyondhighschoolistransformative,providinganaccess pointthatliftsindividualsandcommunitiesoutofpoverty andintosustainableandthrivingeconomies.Theorganization is now celebrating its 10th year of making a college, trade or technical education achievable for students. At this milestone,the programhasprovidedmorethan$100 million in higher education scholarships to 7,300 recipients. Torron Mollett,23,who graduatedfromPittsburghAllderdice in 2012, is one of them. Mollett’s pathway to a college education was hardly illuminatedbyhope-filleddreams.LikemanyPittsburgh studentssharinghisbackgroundandeconomiccircumstances, theideaof pursuing an undergraduate degree was too far- fetched to consider. But mentors and educators introduced him to the Promiseprogramandpushedhimtowardit.Mollett stayedwithitandwonacceptancetoClarionUniversity.Itwas aseismiclifechange,andhefaceddauntingchallengesinthe transition to college-level studies.While he worked hard to overcome them, he realized that African American students like him at Clarion would have a better chance of success if there was a formal support system. His response was to work with university officials to create a campus-wide mentoringandretentionprogramtailoredtoAfricanAmerican students.HeadingtowardgraduationinJune,Mollettentered anessaycompetitionthatwoulddeterminethestudent commencementspeaker — andwon.