South Seattle College celebrated the incoming class of 13th Year Promise Scholarship recipients on Sept. 13 after a three day “Summer Bridge” orientation to help the recent high school graduates prepare for the transition to higher education.
Over 100 incoming 13th Year scholars have their first year of tuition covered by the scholarship program, and participants come from Chief Sealth International, Cleveland, West Seattle and Rainier Beach high schools. In addition to tuition coverage, the program includes wrap-around support services to help scholars navigate college and find a program of interest.
“The scholarship has been a big blessing,” said Anthony Garcia, a Cleveland High School graduate who plans to earn his Associate of Business degree. “I’m a first generation college student. Knowing how expensive college is, it helps tremendously. My goal is to take this opportunity and make my family proud, and set an example for my little sister and family back in Guatemala.”
The South Seattle College Foundation started the 13th Year Promise Scholarship in 2008 at Cleveland, and expanded the program through private donations to include Chief Sealth International, Rainier Beach and West Seattle high schools since that time. The City of Seattle invested additional funding in 2017 and 2018 to help expand the program to Seattle Central College and North Seattle College, and in March of 2018 Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, the Seattle Colleges District, and Seattle Public Schools signed a partnership agreement to develop a Seattle Promise Program proposal that would fund two years of tuition for all Seattle Public School high school graduates through a combination of public funding and private donations.