$10M Commitment Will Enable Undocumented Immigrants with DACA Status Opportunity to Pursue Educational Goals
ARLINGTON, Va. (January 9, 2015) — National scholarship fund TheDream.US announced today that The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) has made a $10 million commitment over three years to provide DREAMers the opportunity to pursue their educational goals.
Founded last year by Graham Holdings Company CEO Donald E. Graham, his wife, journalist Amanda Bennett, Democratic activist and philanthropist Henry R. Muñoz III, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, TheDream.US is the first multimillion-dollar National Scholarship Fund created to help immigrant youth, with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, achieve their American Dream. Scholarships from TheDream.US fund the completion of a college education. Over the next decade, the fund is expected to provide college scholarships enabling over 2,000 highly motivated, low-income DREAMers to graduate with college degrees.
“Working with Latino and other immigrant groups around the country opened my eyes to the plight of these young people,” said William A. Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management and co-founder of The Pershing Square Foundation. “I was fortunate to grow up in an environment where I didn’t have to worry about whether or not college would be possible for me. These scholarships will empower young immigrants to pursue their own dreams and goals, and I am delighted to partner with TheDream.US to expand the opportunity for more students.”
Scholarships provided by TheDream.US will help cover the cost of a student’s tuition and fees. The amount of the awards will vary depending upon the student’s demonstrated financial need and tuition costs of the college. DREAMer Scholars must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA, remain continuously enrolled and remain DACA eligible.
Don Graham, stated, “Every year I encounter DREAMers who are eager to go to college, serve their community and our country. But unlike other students in their high school classes, they do not have access to any of the grants and loans that make college possible for low-income students. TheDream.US is helping these Dreamers continue their education by offering them scholarships to affordable colleges (typically the full cost of tuition at our 50 partner colleges is $25,000). Pershing Square’s gift will allow 400 more students to fulfill the dreams they share with every other child in our country. We believe it is the right thing to do to allow Dreamers to get a college degree – but more important it makes our country stronger and our values firmer.”
TheDream.US is led by Candy Marshall, who was a director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she helped build the foundation’s global programs, and Gaby Pacheco, a DREAMer – and a DREAMer advocate– who was part of the 2010 walk, the Trail of Dreams, from Miami to Washington DC, an event that helped launch the DREAMer movement nationwide.
About The Pershing Square Foundation
The Pershing Square Foundation is a private family foundation, based in New York, founded in December 2006 by Karen and Bill Ackman. The Foundation has committed $270 million in grants and social investments to support exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable impact. Bill is the CEO and portfolio manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. For more information visit: www.pershingsquare.wpengine.com.