Kalamazoo Promise issues statement after KPS grad denied scholarship

Posted at 5:50 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 17:50:44-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- The Kalamazoo Promise has issued a statement after the story of a recent graduate who was denied the scholarship went viral.

FOX 17 first told you about Zaviona Woodruff's story on Wednesday.  The 18-year-old was denied the Kalamazoo Promise one week before graduation.

She met all the requirements for the free college tuition scholarship: she attended a Kalamazoo Public School from kindergarten through 12th grade and lived in the district. However in 2016, she, her sisters and her father  became homeless.

They lived in a shelter for a few months and later moved to a housing complex on Gull Road. Initially, she said they were told that their new home was in  Kalamazoo. Later, they learned it was actually in Comstock Township and that the KPS district line was across the street. Thus, she was denied the Promise.

The Kalamazoo Promise issued a statement on Twitter Friday, saying that they understand that some students "may face difficult life circumstances" that compromise their eligibility for the scholarship.

"In order to take these circumstances into consideration an appeal process has been in place since 2006 that over 400 students have accessed, unfortunately not all are successful" the statement reads, in part.

Zaviona says she immediately appealed after she was told she wouldn't receive the Promise.  In May, she was denied the scholarship.

After her story first aired earlier this week, the community stepped forward to support Woodruff.  A GoFundMe page for her has raised nearly $15,000.

Read the full Kalamazoo Promise statement: