Scholarship Pledge

As soon as Harold Shields, C’98, earned his Penn degree, he began planning to help other Philadelphia kids go to college. Shields was one of the 112 Belmont Elementary School students who were promised full scholarships by Penn trustee George Weiss, W’65, a decade ago, through the Say Yes to Education program (“The Gift,” December 1997).
   Now that Shields has graduated, he’s trying to continue that generosity, because giving back “is what the program was mostly about.” At Belmont’s fifth-grade graduation ceremony in June, he pledged to provide $1,000 college scholarships to the top 10 students in the class. To accomplish this, he will set aside $30 a week for the next seven years. “I’ve always wanted to do something,” he explains. “This is what I can do now.”
   Shields, a psychology major who is moving to North Carolina to attend graduate school, says that since his announcement, other benefactors have joined in, including an individual committed to matching his $10,000 pledge. “There are a lot of different people with different abilities,” Shields says, “but they are all helping out any way they can.” He hasn’t decided yet whether to use the extra money to create additional scholarships or increase the size of each gift.

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