HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Students, parents and representatives donned their tuxes and gowns to go to a prom in Hartford.

It was a prom for Hartford Promise scholars – students either in the process of graduating high school in Hartford and moving on to college, are in college or are graduating into the workforce.

“There are a lot of smart talented young people who they want to give back they want to make a commitment to Hartford, often time they’re overlooked, we don’t overlook them at Hartford promise we elevate them,” said Hartford Promise President Richard Sugarman.

Eight years ago, the nonprofit made a promise to any Hartford student that if they maintained a 3.0 GPA and went to school every day, they would get a $20,000 scholarship after graduating high school. But for some, it’s worth more than the money.

“It went beyond a check, I went through mentorship and also check in throughout our college career make sure we’re still good, and now I’m here,” said Hartford Promise graduate Giovanni Jones.

More than 1,000 students have received or been promised a scholarship over the past eight years in the program that has a very high graduation rate.

“We provide internships for our scholars, career pathways for our scholars the scholarship removes the financial barriers, but it’s the supports and services that help these kids be successful,” Sugarman said.

It was a loud and proud celebration, as many of the graduates and soon-to-be graduates have bright futures.

“I hope to graduate next year and then continue on to get extra classes so I can get my 150 credits so I can get my CPA and become a certified public accountant,” said Richardson Mersan, a Hartford Promise student.

A lot of former Hartford Promise students going through college right now are on the organization’s board to keep themselves involved and make sure they have the tools they need to succeed.