Dover, DE – Delaware State University and TheDream.US have jointly announced a historic partnership that will implement a unique scholarship program for immigrant high school graduates who live in states that make a college education for them virtually impossible.
TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship is the nation’s largest scholarship program for DREAMers –immigrant youth who came to the U.S. without documentation. The organization has partnered with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and their respective state universities –DSU and Eastern Connecticut State University– to provide scholarship recipients with admissions to institutions of higher education where they can enroll and fulfill their college aspirations.
The co-founder of TheDream.US is Donald E. Graham, chairman of Graham Holding Company and former CEO and chairman of the Washington Post.
DSU President Harry L. Williams and Mr. Graham announced the scholarship partnership during a May 10 media event held at DSU. They were joined in the announcement by Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.
“This partnership will add to Delaware State’s incredible legacy of creating new opportunities for students to get a great education and pursue their dreams,” Gov. Markell said. “I’m grateful to Don Graham, President Williams, and their teams for their hard work to make this program possible for the deserving scholarship recipients. These students will make Delaware State a stronger institution for everyone and I am thrilled that we are welcoming these talented young people to Delaware.”
TheDream.US will offer 500 scholarships to DREAMers who live in states that either prohibit them from enrolling in their state universities or make it cost prohibitive by charging them out-of-state tuition. The scholarship recipients will then enroll in DSU, Eastern Connecticut State University or other universities that partner with TheDream.US.
TheDream.US will also offer 100 scholarships to undocumented students who reside in Delaware and Connecticut.
“Education is an American value; we should help every student who has worked hard to go to college,” said Mr. Graham. “TheDream.US Opportunity Scholarship will help immigrant students fulfill their dreams of obtaining a college education so they can better the lives of their families, communities, and our nation. We are proud to be partnering with Delaware State University and Eastern Connecticut State University, with the incredible leadership of Gov. Jack Markell and Gov. Dannel Malloy, to give deserving students the opportunity for an affordable college education.”
The partnership has been established at the same time that DSU is celebrating its 125th anniversary and is consistent with its historic mission, said DSU President Harry L. Williams.
“This exciting partnership with TheDream.US falls right in line with Delaware State University’s mission of providing access and opportunity for diverse populations,” Dr. Williams said. “In addition, this partnership will help the university stay on its current upward trend of growth and sustainability.”
A number of other elected officials have expressed their support for TheDream.US’ scholarship initiative.
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper notes that Delaware State University has a proud history of educating a diverse group of young leaders to succeed in the classroom and as outstanding citizens.
“Thanks to this partnership with TheDreamUS, even more students will now have the opportunity to be part of that legacy,” Sen. Carper said. “If students excel in a U.S. high school, they deserve the opportunity to continue that success in college. Today’s announcement recognizes that an affordable college education is within reach at DSU, and undocumented students won’t have to put their dreams on hold.”
U.S. Sen. Chris Coons said that America was built on the notion that above all else, our success should reflect our willingness to work hard. He noted while outcomes can’t be guaranteed, everyone should get a fair shot to succeed.
“That’s why I’m pleased to learn that TheDream.US will soon help more students attend Delaware State University by helping them overcome out-of-date laws that keep young people, who are here in the United States legally but aren’t American citizens, from accessing in-state tuition and other provisions that make education more affordable,” Sen. Coons said. “Every student deserves access to a good education, and for over a century, DSU has helped make high-quality college education a reality for generations of Delawareans willing to work hard and play by the rules. I’m confident this grant will help. DSU continue to fulfill that commitment while maintaining the fundamental American promise that hard work begets opportunity.”
U.S. Rep. John Carney noted that an education beyond high school has never been more important than it is in today’s changing economy. He added that too many young people never get the chance to develop these skills because college is unaffordable or inaccessible to them.
“Delaware State University has a long history of helping first-generation college students access a quality, affordable education,” Rep. Carney said. “This partnership with TheDream.US builds on these efforts and will give DREAMers the chance to work toward a career that will provide a better way of life for themselves and their families. I welcome these students to Delaware and wish them good luck in their studies.”
State Rep. Joe Miro, R-Pike Creek, said that the partnership between TheDream.US and Delaware State University to provide private funds is a step in the right direction. “The important issue is that it will open the educational door to students without any cost to the taxpayers of Delaware,” Rep. Joe Miro said. “This opportunity will help provide a bright and productive future for these individuals.”
(L-r) Delaware Gov. Jack Markell,; Meghan Wallace, governor’s education policy advisor; Donald Graham; DSU President Harry L. Williams; Sadhana Singh, TheDreamUS scholar; state Rep. Joe Miro; state Rep. Paul Baumbach; and Jim Stewart, DSU Board of Trustees member.