Economy

Amazon's Bezos to donate $33M for DACA student scholarships

Amazon's Bezos to donate $33M for DACA student scholarships”

Bezos, who is the wealthiest person in the world, and his wife, MacKenzie, will be donating the sum to TheDream.US, a scholarship program that has awarded more than 1,700 immigrants more than $19 million in financial assistance since it launched in 2014.

Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.US, called Bezos' donation a "magnificent gift".

"My dad came to the USA when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan", Bezos said in a statement. "MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today's Dreamers by funding these scholarships", he said. In partnership with over 70 low-priced colleges in 15 states, TheDream.US offers individual students $33,000 in scholarship aid over four years to help them cover the cost of tuition, fees and books.

With this new position may come increased public scrutiny towards Bezos' giving, or lack thereof, as it did for Bill Gates when he ascended to the mantle. The scholarship helps Dreamers who might otherwise be unable to afford college.

But because Dreamers still live in a legal gray zone, some forms of paying for college, like government grants and student loans, are often unavailable to them.

While TheDream.US organization is not old enough to have graduation rates, it says its scholars are thriving academically, noting that 94 percent return to college after their first year, while the national average is just 72 percent. 2,850 are now enrolled.

"The surest path to the American dream and contribution to the U.S. economy is through a college education", said Henry R. Muñoz III, principal of San Antonio, Texas-based Munoz & Co. and a co-founder of TheDream.US, along with former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

"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", she said in a statement.

Jeff Bezos' parents founded the Bezos Family Foundation, a philanthropy organization focused on charitable giving to education.

Bezos has been at the center of a long-simmering feud with Trump, who regularly tweets about the tech mogul and Amazon, as well as the Washington Post, which Bezos owns. MacKenzie is an author of two novels.



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