Join us tomorrow for “Unlikely” – a movie about Education Attainment and featuring Akron

TUESDAY, NOV.  13, 2018, 6PM
Over the last 3 years, Los Angeles-based filmmakers Jaye & Adam Fenderson spent hundreds of hours filming a new documentary about educational attainment, with a focus on five U.S. cities—including Akron.
Tomorrow night Three Frame Media is bringing “Unlikely” to Akron. This film focuses on the reality of higher education by following students, two of   whom call Akron home, through their own process at The University of Akron.


The evening will include a pre-screening catered dinner reception in the lobby and the chance for the audience to connect with local schools, organizations and businesses and get resources for post-secondary and workforce opportunities. 
Doors will be opening the doors at 6 pm for a 45-minute reception featuring a local caterer. Click here to get your tickets.

The screening will be followed by a townhall discussion who will share their expertise and perspective on supporting student success in the Akron community.

Moderator: Amani Abraham

David James, Superintendent, Akron Public School
Jolene A. Lane, Chief Diversity Office and Vice President Inclusion & Equity, The University of Akron
Clarissa Santana, Adult Focus Student/Unlikely Cast, The University of Akron
Derran Wimer, Executive Director, Summit Education Initiative
Adam & Jaye Fenderson, Directors & Producers, Three Frames Media

Fall 2017 Update – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

Thank you for your continued interest and support of Akron Promise. We have had an exciting few months since our last update, including a number of meetings with various civic and education leaders in Akron and Summit County. We’ve refocused our efforts for the coming year. Here is a summary:

Kenmore-Garfield High School Education Advocates
Instead of tackling the entire district, we’re starting with one school. It’s known that at-risk kids (and at-risk families) need lots of help with post-secondary navigation. We are working with Akron Public Schools to help 25 seniors navigate the requirements to succeed after they leave high school. The focus will be on working with the students and families so that they know about job and educational opportunities, completing the FAFSA, applying to and visiting colleges, and preparing for life after high school. To do this work, WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! Please contact us via the methods mentioned at the bottom of this update if you are interested in this important work.  No experience or prior knowledge is required!

PromiseNet 2017 Invitation
PromiseNet 2017 will take place in Kalamazoo, MI on November 6 and 7th.  PromiseNet is an annual gathering of people seeking to transform their communities by making a long-term investment in education.  Akron Promise has attended the last three conferences with other local education stakeholders.  Each year there is more to learn about how to develop and shape a program.  There is something to learn for everyone!  If you would like to attend with our group from Akron, please let us know via the contact information at the bottom of this update.  More information about PromiseNet 2017 can be found here.

The cornerstone of every Promise program is to remove the financial barrier from post-secondary educational attainment. We are learning about current scholarships, focused on graduates of Akron Public Schools, to make them more accessible for students. More dollars for students has been, and will continue to be, one of our goals.

Neighborhood Approach
A beautiful thing about Akron is that people are always willing to help! In addition to city, state and county assistance, we continue to find out about smaller, grass-roots organizations offering a variety of assistance to Akronites. This year, we will be looking at resources in the Kenmore Garfield cluster neighborhoods and work with leaders in them to find ways to connect people in need to the help available.

You can’t just throw scholarship money at kids and expect them to succeed. In addition to others in our city, we know how important the wrap-around supports are in getting our graduates enrolledemployed or enlisted. We all need to support our kids from cradle to career – it truly takes a village. If you’d like a role in Akron’s village, please contact us via the links below.

Read about how you can support scholarships for Akron Public School students here via Amazon Smile.

And please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed as we continue to shape the community involved culture of education in Akron! 

To be sure to stay informed on future updates, please join our official mailing list by signing up here!

For further information, please contact Tom Ghinder at or (330) 329-4855.

Akron Promise, THANK YOU!

After years of preparation and study, we now approach the one year anniversary of the official incorporation of Akron Promise, Inc., I want to take the opportunity to update you on the progress that we have made in our efforts to create a unified culture of education in the City of Akron.

We would like to thank our community for enthusiastically embracing this idea. We know that it will require all of us working together to help Akron’s kids access family and academic support services leading to good educational and career opportunities.

We recently returned from an informative and engaging meeting with Say Yes To Buffalo and the Say Yes to Education national team. We are still processing all we learned and will be sharing more about that visit in the coming weeks.

Please join our official mailing list by signing up here!

If you wish to volunteer with Akron Promise, please let us know!

The Year in Review
Akron Promise, Inc. has been incorporated as an Ohio not-for-profit corporation and has been recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3), Non-Profit Corporation.

Akron Promise named the following Board of Directors:

  • Daralee (“Dee”) Ghinder, Co-Founder
  • Tom Ghinder, Founder
  • Emery Leuchtag, Attorney, Physician, Education Advocate
  • David Loar, Retired minister, Funeral Home Assistant, Youth Mentor
  • Greg Milo, Educator

Community Presentations
In an effort to inform community stakeholders about Akron Promise, presentations were made to the following:

  • Akron City Council
  • Akron Community Foundation
  • Akron Huntington Foundation
  • Akron Public Schools Board of Education
  • City of Akron Administration
  • CollegeNow, Greater Cleveland
  • G.A.R. Foundation
  • iCare Mentoring
  • State Representative, Amelia Sykes
  • Summit Education Initiative and their College Attainment Team
  • United Way of Summit County
  • University of Akron

PromiseNet 2016 (our 3rd)
In October nine people from Akron attended the annual convention of Promise programs, held in Washington, D.C. The sharing of information was of great value to us all. Some of us were invited to the White House for the final community college convening, under President Obama. Some were also invited to a reception at the Vice-President’s residence. It was a wonderful surprise to have Dr. Jill Biden and Vice-President Joe Biden show up, speak to the group and offer their time for pictures with each of the 100 in attendance. The convening and reception were to thank those in attendance for their work to make post-secondary education accessible to all, and to encourage us to keep at it.

College and Career Academies of Akron
Tom Ghinder participated in the steering committee and working groups for this Akron Public Schools initiative. Based on other districts’ successes, APS is forming learning communities for grades 9-12 to better prepare students for employment.


  • Add more members to the Board of Directors.
  • Define program mission, vision and program parameters.
  • Work with Akron Public Schools to establish our working commitment and relationship.
  • Work with the City of Akron and other stakeholders to build Akron Promise as a community effort.
  • Keep talking to members of the community about our organization.
  • Raise scholarship funds.

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed as we make progress in our second year!