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The Promise: How One Woman Made Good on Her Extraordinary Pact to Send a Classroom of 1st Graders to College
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The Promise: How One Woman Made Good on Her Extraordinary Pact to Send a Classroom of 1st Graders to College

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In the bestselling tradition of The Pact and The Freedom Writers Diary—the inspiring story of one woman’s extraordinary promise and steely determination to make a difference in the world.

One morning in 1987 Oral Lee Brown walked into a corner store in East Oakland, California, to buy snacks for work. A little girl asked her for a quarter, and Brown assumed that she wanted
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Doubleday
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Feb 23, 2009 Ellyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2005
The story of an amazing woman who in 1987 made a spontaneous promise to a classroom of first graders that if they graduated from high school, she would pay for their college educations. Oral Lee Brown was far from a rich woman at the time, but by saving, investing, and establishing a foundation, she found a way to make good on her promise. Over the years, she become mentor, friend, and surrogate parent to the students. Her foundation is still in existence and still sending students to college. I ...more
A well written, inspirational story about caring about others, and committing one's life to helping them. Oral Lee Brown is an amazing woman; there are very few like her.
John Jannuzzi
Excellent. A great story. One can still find good leaders today. Oral Lee Brown's narrative style made it like I was having a one-on-one discussion with her on who she was and what she did. She did a lot more than fund college education for that class of first graders -- she assembled a support system that worked with the students from first grade through high school graduation, and beyond to get it done. Her interspersed candid views on parenting, discipline, hard work, and taking personal resp ...more
Karen Henry
This book was a true Blessing to read. It will forever impact my life of the thoughfullness and giving of one single person. This book was a true story. It will hold your intrest it will make you sad and happy all at once. But mostly you will feel very good after reading this book. It will challenge your thinking to what can I do to improve someone's life. I recommend this book for a must read, for parents , students, teachers and all people wanting to make a diffrent in this world.
A very heartwarming story of how one woman wanted to send a class of first-graders to college and how she worked with them year after year to make sure they had the support they needed and anything else (shoes, food, someone to cry to). She made a promise and stuck to it, and ended up forming the Oral Lee Brown Foundation. A great book to read about kids who have everything working against them, but then succumbing to the odds and succeeding in life.
Kris Wells
Great book about a poor woman from Mississippi who moved to Oakland, raised a family and decided to help a whole class of 1st graders from East Oakland go to college. The kids have now gone to college and she gives updates on how and what they are doing. Very inspirational story about one woman (who is not rich herself) making a HUGE difference in the world!
Monica Ravizza
A woman vows to send an oakland class of 1st graders to college. This is the story of how she saves/raises the money and the bond she develops with the class as they age. Inspiring story of how one woman made a large impact in the lives of 25 inner city youth.
This was so inspiring. Oral Lee Brown is an incredible lady. I was touched by her story of the promise she made to a class of first-graders living in East Oakland to send them to college. I wish everyone had a heart like hers.
A practical and inspiring book about making an individual difference. This is not a sugar coated miracle book but a real look at an amazing sacrifice. It made me think deeply about what my contribution needs to be....
Well-written, I enjoyed reading this book very much. Fascinating stories and very uplifting. I feel like this should be a "must-read" for students in public schools.
Katrina Watters
Inspiring but a little preachy and as someone who works in education, I didn't feel it was always a balanced view.
Carefree Toni
One person can truly make a difference.

Very inspiring book and woman.
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