A Stranger Paid for a Class of Kindergartners’ College Tuition
Finance| | By Lauren Boudreau
For as much slack as the “One Percent” gets, sometimes they use their power for good.
Such is the case for a lucky class of kindergartners at Rio Vista Elementary School in Anaheim, California. Marty Burbank, i.e. a very wealthy man, will be funding the college educations of all 26 students in the class.
According to CNNMoney, Burbank will be paying for two years of community college and two years at a California state school, if they decide to go that route. Otherwise, he will pay the equivalent if they want to attend elsewhere. All the students have to do to get this deal is draw a picture or write an essay once a year about what going to college means to them – a pretty sweet deal.
Burbank said he’s a “strong believer about visualizing your goals.” Both he and his wife were the first in their families to attend college and are still tied to the academic community as his wife is a professor at Vanguard University. Burbank is an attorney and Navy veteran.
The children come from homes where Spanish is their first language and most didn’t speak English their first day of school. But the school makes an effort to get kids thinking about college and their futures. Tessa Ashton, the class’ teacher, told CNNMoney, “I tell them that they need to sit and listen, because that’s a skill they’ll need when they go to a place called college.”
In addition, each teacher chooses a university to focus on for the year. The flag of that university is flown on Fridays during something they call “College Fridays.” This year, Ashton chose her alma mater, Indiana University, and Burbank gave each student a Class of 2032 sweatshirt and T-shirt.
But how did such a generous act of kindness come to be?
Well, Burbank says he was inspired after a sermon given at his church about charity. So, instead of buying a yacht, like he had planned, Burbank decided to do this instead.
The benevolent deed is estimated to cost around $1 million and Burbank has set up a fund he plans to contribute to monthly. The large sum will set the Burbanks back a bit, delaying their retirement, but Burbank said, “We feel it’s the best investment we could make.”
Now Burbank hopes his example will inspire others to do the same.