OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Kindergartner Stephon Stubbs may not understand it yet, but he’s already got money in the bank for his college education.
His father could not be prouder.
“To get the kids early and show them not only that they’re important, but they can be successful and go to college, it’s really good,” said Steven Stubbs.
Stephon’s West Oakland School – Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary – held a ceremony this week where the kindergarteners were awarded certificates good for $100 in a college saving fund once they graduate from high school.
It is all part of a program called Oakland Promise.
The goal of the program is to triple the number of students headed to college from Oakland high schools by 2025.
“This coming year, we will be giving either college savings accounts or early scholarship awards to 5,000 babies and kindergartners in Oakland,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf.
The newborns will get a $500 college saving account, their parents will receive up to $500 in financial support and by the time they are in kindergarten the kids will receive an additional $100.
And it doesn’t stop there. There will be additional scholarships for graduating high school seniors and Peralta Community College will give the students their first semester for free.
Aaliyah Douglas is an Oakland high school graduate and is now an engineering major at Cal. She spoke to the students and their parents and credited the program with changing her life.
“It’s always possible to achieve your grandest dreams if people are there looking out for you and ready to support you,” she said.