PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is accustomed to inspiring winners.

Tuesday afternoon at the Rivers Club, he spoke to about 100 students who received scholarships from the Pittsburgh Promise fund.

“To give these kids an opportunity they wouldn’t have, or they just aren’t afforded to have of their own means, or a parent’s means, what a wonderful gift,” he said before taking the podium.

About 100 Pittsburgh Promise students and graduates met with 30 local employers, to learn about job opportunities

The Pirates manager says he likes it when someone tells him he can’t do something. It just makes him more determined to do it. The same could be said for most of the students who watched his speech.

The Pittsburgh Promise aims to raise $250 million for scholarships for Pittsburgh students who enroll in Pennsylvania colleges.

“The Promise helped me to afford to go to a small private school,” said Joanne Gilligan, a senior at Dickinson College.

Promise graduates Chris Norman, Chalese Floyd, and Darryl Loman II landed jobs with UPMC.

“It helped me financially,” Loman said, “not only to pay for tuition, but also to cover fees such as books and other miscellaneous.”

“Pittsburgh Promise was right there for me,” Norman added. “Helped me pay for all that, so I didn’t exit school with a lot of debt. And additionally, it helped me with a career launch.”

Chalese Floyd says it played a part in keeping her in Pennsylvania.

“In order to get the Promise, you have to go to a school in Pa. So because of that, I definitely chose a school in Pa., because I wanted to be a recipient,” she said.

Hurdle says he’s also a Pittsburgh guy, all the way.

“We’re part of the community,” said Hurdle. “Kids go to school. We’ve got to go to PTA meetings. I can’t be down in Florida playing golf. I’ve got to get kids on the bus.”

Promise kept.

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