Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

May 1, 2024
Header image of Senator Hartley.
Contact: Garnet McLaughlin | | 860-240-0288

Sen. Hartley Welcomes The Waterbury Promise Scholars to the Capitol

On Wednesday, State Senator Joan Hartley took a point of personal privilege in the Senate Chamber to honor the team behind The Waterbury Promise, and several scholarship recipients.

“What an honor to welcome these future leaders to the Senate Chamber,” said Sen. Hartley. “These young students have demonstrated great success in the classroom, and I look forward to seeing them achieve their full potential with the support of The Waterbury Promise. I want to also thank Executive Director Kelonda Maull, Director of Development and Community Engagement Hedy Ayers and their team for their commitment to ensuring the success of Waterbury students, our community is stronger because of them.”

The 2024 scholars include:

  • Jocelin Quituizaca, Sophomore, CT State – Naugatuck Valley (graduating this month and transferring to CCSU)
  • Alyssa Jhingree, Freshman, Yale University
  • Harinarine “Harry” Sirikishun, Freshman, UConn Storrs

Waterbury Promise was launched in late 2021 in collaboration with the City of Waterbury and Waterbury Public Schools. Waterbury Promise is a nonprofit dedicated to building a generation of college graduates in Waterbury.

Since 2021, this game-changing college access and success program has supported nearly 400 talented Waterbury Promise scholars across 15 Connecticut colleges and universities.

While the program is centered on a generous last-dollar scholarship, its success hinges on providing a full continuum of support services to help high-achieving and traditionally underserved Waterbury students get to college, thrive there, persist through graduation and be career ready to create a robust and diverse talent pipeline for the local, regional and state economies.

These supports are critical, given that 68% of Waterbury Promise Scholars are first generation college students, 78% are students of color, many come from low to moderate income households and some are even pursuing higher education without any parental support.

The program has had a powerful impact:

  • 89% of the 2022 cohort persisted to their sophomore year of college
  • Waterbury Promise has a 95% overall program retention rate across both cohorts
  • The program has disbursed close to $500,000 in last dollar scholarships to date
  • Its first group of scholars will graduate from CT State – Naugatuck Valley with a degree in just a few weeks!

To become a Waterbury Promise Scholar, students must: be a Waterbury resident; graduate from a Waterbury Public High School, Holy Cross or Kaynor Technical High School; achieve a cumulative 3.0 GPA and a 90% attendance rate through graduation; complete the FAFSA; and enroll at any accredited 2 or 4 year Connecticut-based college or university.

Those looking to donate to this organization or inquire further on scholarship opportunities can visit

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