Improving outcomes & health.
Making a Promise
The Promise Heights initiative was established in 2009 by the University of Maryland School of Social Work to improve educational outcomes for youth and ensure families are healthy and successful in the West Baltimore communities of Upton/Druid Heights.
In 2012, Promise Heights became a U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhood grantee—only one of 50 nationwide—to create a pipeline of integrated and comprehensive services which support children to succeed, thrive, be inspired to stay in school, and aspire to college and career.
Upton and Druid Heights
Upton/Druid Heights is the first African American community in Baltimore. It was Baltimore’s premier African American community replete with jazz clubs, dance halls, theaters, and other hubs of the African-American community and home to educated, professional property owners, including doctors, lawyers, and retailers. The Baltimore chapter of the NAACP was founded there, which was visited by famous leaders of the national civil rights movement such as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey. This neighborhood was the center of local Civil Rights Movement and was a renowned entertainment district. Churches nurtured many civic institutions such as the YMCA.
Promise Neighborhoods are place-based efforts to wrap children in integrated, coordinated, high quality academic, social, and health programs and supports from the cradle to college to career. Strong schools are core to every Promise Neighborhood, as is family and community engagement.