Alumnus Helps Announce Scholarship
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If you attended NLCP, then you heard a familiar message time and time again: Yes, you can defend your senior project!  Yes, you can pass Ms. Childress’ AP Chemistry class! Yes, you can become the first person in your family to go to college!

Brandon Hummons, NLCP Class of 2009 graduate and Denison Class of 2013 graduate, took those messages to heart.  As Brandon explains, “My Freshman year at Christiana, a teacher told me I could do better, and I believed him. I went from a C- student to valedictorian.”

On May 29, Brandon went even further.  He stepped up to share the stage with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  Brandon helped Secretary Duncan to announce The Phoenix Pact, a new scholarship program that in true NLCP fashion is going to be groundbreaking.  This year, more 40 seniors from NLCP’s Class of 2015 will receive the scholarships.

The program is a three-way "pact": students commit to graduate with a B average or better and attend a college with a track record of successfully graduating minority students; colleges commit to keeping total loan costs manageable and to ensuring that 50% or more of their minority students earn a degree; and the Phoenix Pact Fund commits to cover any financial gap remaining between the cost of attendance and available financial aid.

So far, 15 different colleges and universities have signed on to participate, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Michigan State, and Valparaiso to name just a few.  Representatives from the colleges, counselors from grammar schools, NLCP parents and many others crowded into the Collins Cafeteria—which was transformed by curtains, tablecloths and a giant video screen! They along with Secretary Duncan thanked the donors whose vision made the scholarships possible and applauded the seniors, who through hard work and determination, met the graduation requirements.

This was a historic and inspiring moment for NLCP. Thanks to The Phoenix Pact, NLCP’s students will now be able to attend universities where they are most likely to succeed and not just settle for those they can afford.

But to make it happen, there has to be determination, there has to be commitment.  As Brandon urged NLCP students past, present and future: “Never doubt yourself. Never say the expectations placed upon you are too high. If you want something go and get it.” Sound familiar?

You can learn more about The Phoenix Pact by visiting