For the safety of our staff and our neighbors, City of Promise has suspended on-site programs for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. While none of us has experienced a crisis of this magnitude, we do know that an extended time away from school and normal daily rhythms may widen the achievement gap and deepen family trauma. That's why we will continue to serve our youth and families by phone, email, and video conferencing. Now more than ever, children and parents need to feel connected and reassured. Our staff remains dedicated to walking alongside our community during this challenging season, and we will continue to collaborate with our partners to ensure resources and information reach the neighborhood. To visit our homepage, click here.

Donate Gift Cards

Mary Coleman, Executive Director * 434.228.5153 *


To fill the gap for families during tough times, we offer gift cards when we have them available. Kroger is the most popular. Reid's, Walmart, and gasoline cards are also helpful.

Gateway Services and Adult Empowerment

Mary Coleman, Executive Director * 434.228.5153 *


Ms. Mary will be present in the neighborhood to distribute resources in collaboration with partners. As a mom of seven children who homeschooled for 13 years, she understands the strain many adults feel while navigating this time of uncertainty and stress.  Adults who need support of any kind should feel free to contact Mary or visit for a comprehensive list of city-wide resources. You may also call 434.234.4490.

Promise Baby Academy and Grades K-4

Ashley Howard * 434.270.9212 * ahoward


Virtual Promise Baby Academy is a private Facebook page that provides a community of support for moms whose children range in age from birth to eight.  Ms. Ashley is a mother of four, working from home now, and helping her children stay on task with their schoolwork. She has first-hand experience as a former homeschooler with sound advice and resources to support any child's education. She will be in close touch with school principals to liaise on behalf of parents, and she is coordinating fun activities and incentives like pizza delivery, toys, and games to keep kids safe, active, and engaged in learning.

Pathway Coaching: Grades 5 - 8

Melissa Steppe * 434.421.5606 *


Ms. Melissa will connect with students by phone and online to support their schoolwork and to keep them encouraged during this time of isolation. Online groups will provide camaraderie and the opportunity to develop a growth mindset. Special guests will join these virtual "hang outs" to offer advice. Ms. Melissa has children at home, so she knows how important it is to keep youth motivated. Incentives in the form of Amazon and restaurant cards will be offered as a way to affirm students in their pursuit of learning. 

Pathway Coaching: Grades 9 - 12

Jermaine Dias * 551.404.5832 *


Mr. D. will help high schoolers stay on track with their academic requirements and lead them in activities to help them manage their time. An experienced mental health professional, Mr. D. will encourage teens to sustain healthy living practices, and seniors will receive support in framing their next steps beyond high school. Incentives in the form of Amazon and restaurant cards will be offered as a way to affirm students in their pursuit of learning. 


City of Promise welcomes collaboration with partner agencies, individuals, and funders in addressing community needs. In the short term, food insecurity and unemployment require immediate action, funding, and volunteer efforts.  We are receiving donations to offer the community grocery cards, household supplies, and transportation to address practical needs.


Long term, we don't exactly know what challenges students will face after months away from formal classroom instruction. We do know that we will encourage them to strive and to dream in spite of this temporary obstacle.  Ongoing investments in our academic mission are essential if we are to successfully mitigate the negative impact of this unprecented crisis. To donate in support of our mission, click here or contact Mary Coleman to volunteer or to explore other collaborations: 434.228.5153,

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