Press Release

Rasheed Merritt of State Farm® Joins Board of Directors at America’s Promise Alliance

Contact Info: 
Daria Hall

WASHINGTON America's Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest partnership organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, announced today that Rasheed Merritt, a leader on the State Farm Human Resources team, has been elected to its board of directors. He replaces Kathy Payne, the senior director of education leadership at State Farm, who is retiring from her post.  Ms. Payne has served as an America’s Promise trustee and board member for more than a decade.

“With more than 30 years in the education sector, Kathy has been a champion for bringing opportunities to young people.  Her wise counsel and support over the years has been invaluable to America’s Promise, and we appreciate tremendously the time and energy she has dedicated to this partnership,” said Alma J. Powell, board chair. “We are very happy to continue the State Farm relationship with Rasheed and welcome his insight and passion for youth.  He will be a great addition to the board and future of America’s Promise.”

“It’s an honor to be named to the America’s Promise board of directors. At State Farm, we believe all children deserve an education that helps them reach their greatest potential and prepares them for life. I look forward to working with an organization that shares the same desire to help young people succeed,” Merritt said.  

Merritt, who resides in Bloomington, IL, is currently an Assistant Vice President in Human Resources. He began his State Farm career in 1995 and has held various insurance and human resources roles within the company. Merritt holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Elizabeth City State University, received his MBA from Dowling College in 2005, and holds an insurance industry-recognized Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation.

For many years, Merritt has volunteered his time coaching and supporting youth sports and the arts. His involvement in these extracurricular activities has given him the opportunity to support youth beyond classroom learning and emphasize the importance of education, which he believes is important to helping individuals showcase their gifts. 

The Alliance’s board of directors provides strategic counsel regarding the organization’s mission and work, including the GradNation campaign.  GradNation is a national movement of dedicated individuals, organizations and communities working together to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and increase postsecondary enrollment and completion.

For a full list of America’s Promise Alliance board members visit:

America’s Promise Alliance leads more than 400 organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce.

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