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$4MM Campaign Supports DACA Approved Youth & Their Pursuit of the American Dream

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Dec. 2, 2014) – The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is spearheading a movement to bring national scholarship monies to Arizona to help motivated DREAMers pursue their educational goals. TheDream.US, a national scholarship program focused on providing affordable, high-quality education to undocumented students, has partnered with The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation for the Arizona initiative. Together, the organizations will match donations raised by the community and business leaders, dollar-for-dollar, up to $2 million.

More than 21,000 young immigrants in Arizona have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approval, making Arizona the sixth largest community of DACA approved immigrants in the nation and thousands more will now be eligible under the new Deferred Action Program. On obtaining DACA status young immigrants are legally able to live and work in the United States.

Many of these highly motivated young adults want to earn a college degree and contribute to the prosperity of our state. But, with no access to federal financial aid and limited access to scholarship funds the prospects are bleak. Regardless of how long they have lived in Arizona, young immigrants who graduate from local schools face paying unaffordable out-of-state tuition to attend Arizona’s four year universities.

“These children are victims of their situation, a situation that has them living in a country where they are not supported,” said Bob Parsons. “DREAMers can’t change where they came from or how they got here, but we can certainly help change their prospects for the future.”

“We, as a nation, have an opportunity to leverage the investment we have already made in these young, highly motivated men and women,” said TheDream.US President Candy Marshall.  “By offering a scholarship fund, we support DREAMers in joining our next generation of talented health care providers, educators, accountants, scientists, software developers and social workers.”

The challenge grant has the potential to raise $4 million, which will support hundreds of Arizona DREAMers in obtaining associate’s and bachelor’s degrees through several Maricopa Community Colleges and Arizona State University.

“The matching challenge is a perfect way to strengthen our commitment to Arizona and encourage DREAMers not only to become responsible citizens, but also leaders in our community,” Bob Parsons added.

“It is unfortunate that many bright young adults find themselves in a situation where they are unable to pursue their full potential, even after years of being a top performer in school,” said philanthropist Renee Parsons. “These highly motivated youth are a part of Arizona’s future and they deserve not only our support, but also the hope that they too can achieve their American dream.”

TheDream.US founders, partners and donors are determined to make a difference for accomplished DREAMers. While Bob and Renee Parsons are the catalyst for bringing the national scholarship program to Arizona, they join fellow  Giving Pledge signatories Bill and Melinda Gates, Pierre and Pam Omidyar, Michael Bloomberg and Mark Zuckerberg in supporting DREAMers and TheDream.US.

To double the impact of your gift to TheDream.US in support of Arizona DREAMers visitwww.TheDream.US/Donate. Please note “Arizona DREAMers Scholarship Fund” in the space provided for comments.

About TheDream.US
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.

The founders of TheDream.US include Graham Holdings Company CEO Donald E. Graham, his wife, the acclaimed writer Amanda Bennett, Democratic activist and philanthropist Henry R. Muñoz III, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.