Mayor Tubbs Gives Back to Stockton Scholars

Mayor Tubbs kicked off 2018 by introducing the “Stockton Scholars” initiative.              PC:

It is well-known that the cost of attending university has reached new heights for today’s generation of college students. Statistically speaking, Americans owe over $1.45 trillion in student debt.  

Yet according to Georgetown’s Center of Education and Workforce, it is predicted that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the United States will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. This exemplifies the intensity of Stockton’s struggle to send their youth to college,  as only 17.5 percent of Stockton residents over the age of 25 have a Bachelor’s degree.

Mayor Michael Tubbs empathizes with this issue that Stockton faces, which is why he has introduced the “Stockton Scholars” initiative, which will aim to provide financial assistance to all Stockton students pursuing a high education.

With a $20 million donation from the California Community Foundation, the scholarship will award $1000 a year to Stockton Unified School District students who will be attending a 4-year public university, or $500 a year to those attending 2-year colleges or trade schools. The scholarship will be open for application beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year.

Born and raised in Stockton, Michael Tubbs relates to the struggle that many of the city’s residents face.

“I firmly believe that talent and intelligence are universal, but resources and opportunities are not. Stockton Scholars is born out of that belief,” Tubbs said in a letter on the Stockton Scholars webpage.

Although the scholarship isn’t applicable to anyone presently attending Pacific, many students here  come straight from the Stockton Unified School District and can appreciate the endeavor of the Stockton Scholars initiative.

“Finances are an issue in Stockton for some students seeking to attend college. I think the program will influence them to pursue a higher education and take it seriously,” History major Oscar Lopez 18’ said.

Lopez attended Edison High School, one of the schools that will benefit from the Stockton Scholars program. He states that receiving an education changed his life for the better, and hopes to inspire others to take the same route.

“I want to be an educator, and the reason for that is because education impacted me in a positive way. I want to be that positive role model in someone’s life, because I know how much that [education] changed my perspective.”

As of now, the application will only be open to those in Stockton Unified. This includes Franklin, Edison, Chavez, Stagg, Jane Frederick, Walton Special Center, Stockton High School,  as well as Health Careers Academy, Weber Academy, Merlo Institute, Pacific Law Academy, Stockton Early College Academy, Aspire Langston Hughes Academy, Stockton Collegiate International School.

Additionally, students need to have lived in Stockton for at least the last four years, have a GPA of at least a 2.0, have completed their FAFSA application, and applied to at least two other scholarships/grants.

Many Stockton residents are questioning, what about Stockton schools in Lincoln and Lodi Unified? What about other charter schools?

“We have plans to expand to Stockton residents who attend schools in Lodi Unified, Manteca Unified, and Lincoln Unified as funds become available,” Tubbs said.

Tubbs will be pushing to raise $100 million for Stockton Scholars over the next few years, in hopes of giving all of Stockton’s youth an opportunity to afford college.

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Natalia Gevara

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