Alamo Colleges Nets $500,000 AlamoPROMISE Gift From Harvey E. Najim

March 5, 2020

At a press conference recently, the Alamo Colleges District announced a major gift of $500,000 for AlamoPROMISE from local philanthropist Harvey E. Najim.

AlamoPROMISE is the Alamo Colleges District’s bold new initiative that provides last-dollar funding to pay tuition and mandatory fees at any of the district’s five colleges for seniors graduating in 2020 from 25 participating Bexar County high schools.

Accepting the really big “check” from Najim were Alamo Colleges Board of Trustees Chair Marcelo Casillas, Chancellor Dr. Mike Flores and Alamo Colleges Foundation Board Chair Anthony White. Also on hand to thank Najim for his generous gift were State Senator José Menéndez, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and AlamoPROMISE Scholar Kaylah M. Smith, all of whom spoke at the event. Adding their thanks were Alamo Colleges District Board Vice Chair Joe Alderete, Jr., Trustees Dr. Yvonne Katz, José A. Macias, Jr., Asst. Secretary Joe Jesse Sanchez, Roberto Zárate and Student Trustee Alejandra Gomez.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Mr. Harvey E. Najim for his continuing support of our colleges and our students, and especially for this very significant investment in AlamoPROMISE,” said Casillas. “Without the generosity and support of exceptional individuals such as Mr. Najim, the AlamoPROMISE program would not be possible,” he added.

“Clearly, Mr. Najim recognizes the challenges students face in enrolling in college and completing their educational goals, and he also knows how critical financial assistance, such as that offered by AlamoPROMISE, is to helping students to overcome these challenges,” said Flores. “He does not go into anything quickly, or haphazardly.

He is a numbers guy, loves to ask questions and study data, and takes time to meticulously look at programs before making any type of investment. He has said that lack of education is our city’s biggest problem, and for about a year now, has been watching our progress in addressing that issue with AlamoPROMISE. He is pleased with what he has seen, and we are honored to receive his stamp of approval,” added Flores.

This is not the first time Najim has shown his support for the Alamo Colleges District with a major investment. He previously donated $1 million to establish the Harvey Najim Pathways Scholarship for students from local school districts where the majority face challenges in pursuing a college education. He and his family foundation also gave $104,000 in 2018 to support the Najim Family Foundation scholarships, which provided annual scholarships to students studying in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Computer Information Systems, CyberSecurity, Nursing and Allied Health fields. In addition, the Harvey E. Najim Charitable Foundation has contributed $75,000 to the Scobee Education Center at SAC – supporting Challenger Learning Center Missions for more than 1,249 students in grades 4-12 from Title I Schools. 

Generous donors such as Najim, who care about improving the lives of local residents and the community, are vital to making AlamoPROMISE a reality. The Alamo Colleges District and its partners in AlamoPROMISE, which include the city, county and local businesses, are committed to ending poverty, enhancing economic and social mobility and meeting workforce demands in our area by making it possible for more students to complete college prepared for high-wage, high-demand jobs. Already 8,000 eligible high school seniors have completed the first step to becoming AlamoPROMISE Scholars and more than 4,500 have completed all three steps to be admitted to one of the colleges of the Alamo Colleges District this fall. By the fall of 2021, the AlamoPROMISE program will be available to students graduating with a diploma from an additional 20 participating public high schools in Bexar County.