Jeff Bezos donates $33 million to scholarship fund for 'dreamers'

Bezos donates $33 million for 'dreamers' scholarship program

Bezos Gives Away Small Fortune To Dreamer Scholarship Fund

Bezos, the world's wealthiest man, has faced criticism in the past for not engaging in philanthropy at the same level as fellow multi-billionaires like Bill Gates.

In September, Trump ended DACA, an Obama-era program protecting young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children from deportation.

The organization said it now has over 2,850 students enrolled in its program with partnerships with more than 70 low-priced colleges in 15 states across the country.

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"My dad came to the US when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan", Jeff Bezos said. Operation Pedro Pan was an exodus of unaccompanied minors from Cuba during the 1960s.

"He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships".

Bezos said he donated in honor of his father, who fled to the USA from Cuba alone when he was 15, went to college, and lived the American dream. They are ineligible for federal grants and loans; get no state aid in 44 states; and must pay out-of-state or global tuition-often more than three times in-state tuition-in more than 15 states. It is a shot in the arm for Dreamer students at a time when some are questioning whether they should be in the United States at all.

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Graham said he emailed Bezos after his Tweet to explain that the program matched his goal of meeting an huge short-term need while also changing the country in the long term.

One of the co-founders of TheDream.US is the former publisher of the Washington Post, Donald E. Graham.

As the "Dreamers" as they're known, are illegal immigrants, they are not eligible to receive financial aid from the federal government, TheDream.US aims to offer these students up to $33,000 in financial aid spread over four years of college study. 2,850 students are now enrolled in college under the program. Bill and Melinda Gates, through their Gates Foundation, have pledged $1 billion over 20 years to their Millennium Scholars program. It also comes as Trump continues his thinly veiled criticism of Bezos, citing his concern about Amazon's impact on the U.S. Postal Service. 94% return to their college after the first year; the national average is 72%.

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