STOCKTON -- A first-of-its-kind partnership in Stockton between the privately-funded program Stockton Scholars and San Joaquin Delta College will give scholarships to hundreds of new students.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs said it's about ensuring students have the resources to be successful.
"Whether they're getting their AA degree or they're doing their apprenticeship program, they have funding for up to two years to do that," Tubbs said Monday.
Stockton Scholars was launched last year after Tubbs secured a $20 million donation.
Delta's President Kathleen Hart said the grants will not only help boost the collages declining enrollment but will ease the financial burden on students and their families.
"So many of our students have to work and it doesn't mean they won't have to work anymore but they may not have to work so long and so hard. And that way they may be able to get through their programs more quickly," Hart told FOX40.
Each eligible student will get $500 that they can put toward their books, school supplies or other costs associated with attending college.
"This is really a first for Stockton and it's going to make a difference," Hart said. "It's really going to make a difference to our students and to their families and to the future of this county and city."
"It's our hope that students will be able to use this scholarship to address some of those other expenses that might keep them from being successful," said Executive Director Lange Luntao of the Reinvent Stockton Foundation.
To qualify for the scholarship Stockton Unified School District students must be graduating this year, have a 2.0 GPA or higher, must have completed their financial aid application, attended a public school in Stockton for at least four years and apply for the grant.
"Every year there are thousands of students that graduate not only from Stockton Unified schools but from public schools throughout Stockton and the majority of them come onto Delta campus," Luntao said.
Mayor Tubbs told FOX40 this partnership is just one more way to help fight the recent surge in violence in the city.
"Our answer can't be just cops because we have more cops than ever and they're working incredibly hard but we have to make sure that folks have opportunity and education, pathways to careers and good paying jobs are a way to do that," he said.