Neighbors in the News: Promise Ambassador program steps into the spotlight

Two local media outlets recently told the story of Promise Neighborhood’s biggest asset – its ambassadors!

News 5 Cleveland interviewed Promise Ambassadors Robin and Nathalie Johnson and shared their story of hope for Central:

Promise Ambassador Nathalie Johnson speaks with a teacher the the Bingham Early Learning Center
Promise Ambassador Nathalie Johnson speaks with a teacher the the Bingham Early Learning Center

Growing up in the area, Nathalie Johnson knows how challenging day to day living can be.

“A lot of kids with everything going on in this world, probably don’t have a lot of hope,” she said.

For years, her mother, Robin Johnson said their family of 8 has even fallen on tough times

“Basic needs are sometimes the biggest hurdles,” Ms. Johnson said.

But that hasn’t stopped them from giving back, they live by the motto that real change, starts at home.

“I first want to represent myself as a good citizen and someone that someone else, another citizen would maybe want to aspire to be,” said Ms. Johnson.

Promise Engagement Coordinator Dawn Glasco spoke about the challenges facing the neighborhood and how residents like the Johnsons are essential to Promise Neighborhood’s work:

“I like to look at it like building the community from the inside out. They do door to door canvassing around early learning education… they serve on parent advisory councils at our local schools they volunteer inside of the classrooms,” said Glasco.

And with less than 50% of residents graduating from high school, leaders tell me having someone so young like 19-year-old Nathalie to be apart, makes a world of difference.

“She’s able to tell her story, she’s able to spread her good energy and she’s able to be evidence of the work that we’re doing here at Promise,” Glasco said.

Watch the full story about Robin and Nathalie by clicking here.

A story from Freshwater Cleveland focused on the extensive training Promise Ambassadors undergo to become part of the program:

Residents of Cleveland’s Central neighborhood are leading the charge in sustaining their youth population’s academic success through creation of a community-wide support network.

The Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood works to transform educational outcomes by training adults to be leaders, or “promise ambassadors.” After a ten-week course conducted by the Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI), citizens act as boots on the ground, interacting directly with students as well as their parents. 

Promise Ambassador Jerome Baker reads to students.
Promise Ambassador Jerome Baker reads to students.

Peter Whitt helps lead the Promise Ambassador training at Neighborhood Leadership Institute and was interviewed for the article:

“Creating a culture of education is the primary goal,” says Whitt, an NLI graduate himself. “The undercurrent here is empowerment and providing resources for ambassadors to have a platform in organizations.”

He continued:

“Creating a culture of education is the primary goal,” says Whitt, an NLI graduate himself. “The undercurrent here is empowerment and providing resources for ambassadors to have a platform in organizations.”

Read the full story from Freshwater Cleveland here.