Amazon Founder Announces $33M Scholarship Donation for Dreamers
Bezos, best known as the founder of Amazon.com, donates $33 million in scholarship funding for Dreamers.
January 16, 2018
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos have released an important announcement: They will fund 1,000 college scholarships specifically for Dreamers, undocumented immigrant students with DACA (The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status.
More specifically, the funding will be a $33 million donation in the form of a grant for TheDream.US, the nation’s largest scholarship program for Dreamers. In 2017, the organization was the recipient of the Fastweb sponsored National Scholarship Providers Association’s (NSPA) Scholarship Provider of the Year Award.
The grant will be the largest in the organization’s history and will give 1,000 undocumented immigrants, who are U.S. high school graduates with DACA status, the opportunity to go to college by helping with college costs.
MacKenzie Bezos, his wife, is an American novelist. She’s the author of two novels; her first, The Testing of Luther Albright, won an American Book Award in 2006.
According to the press release, the cause is personal to Bezos whose adopted father came to the U.S. as an immigrant who fled from Cuba.
“My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan,” said Jeff Bezos. “He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination – and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware – my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.”
Students known as Dreamers qualify for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program set into action during the Obama-era. The act was created to protect those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as minors from deportation.
The Huffington Post notes that “the program helps roughly 700,000 Dreamers, but the Trump administration is currently phasing it out. There has been a six-month delay for recipients in 2017, and the Department of Homeland Security will allow previously issued permits to expire starting on March 5.”
The Bezos aren’t alone in their support of TheDream.US. According to the TheDream.US, “Mike and Jackie Bezos, Jeff’s parents, are also among the early donors to TheDream.US. Others include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Pershing Square Foundation; the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Pierre and Pam Omidyar; the Robin Hood Foundation; The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation; the Ford Foundation; the PepsiCo Foundation; the Coca-Cola Foundation; and Don, Bill, and Steve Graham.”
The scholarships offered by TheDream.US that will benefit from the Bezos donation (as well as the others mentioned above) can be found right here on Fastweb, including:
TheDream.US National Scholarship
Available to: High School Seniors through College Freshmen
Award Amount: Up to $29,000
TheDream.US National Scholarship is available to students who have graduated or will graduate from high school (or have earned or will earn a high school equivalency diploma) by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and to students who have graduated from or are a current student at an accredited U.S. community college or two-year program and will graduate in the 2017-18 academic year with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
You must intend to enroll full time in a baccalaureate program at a Partner College in fall 2018, be eligible for in-state tuition at the Partner College you want to attend, have DACA or TPS or certify that you meet the immigration eligibility criteria set forth on the sponsors website, be able to confirm you came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday and demonstrate significant unmet financial need in order to be considered for this award.
Learn more about the TheDream.US National Scholarship.
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