STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) — A San Joaquin County nonprofit partnered with community leaders to encourage preschoolers and their families to focus on their future.
“This is just life-changing for my family,” said Marisela Acevedo.
The future is bright for 4-year-old Galileah Acevedo.
“She likes to paint. She’s very artistic; she’s always painting rainbows,” said Marisela Acevedo, whose daughter received a savings account.
Whether the young girl decides to go to college or pursue a trade, she and thousands of other students her age will have some money in the bank to help get them started. It’s part of the Child Savings Account Grant Program by San Joaquin A+.
“They get $750 seed deposit into a child savings account that they’ll be able to access once they turn 18 and graduate high school to go towards any post-secondary opportunity, whether that be two-year college, four years, any vocational or trade program,” said Director Tony Gladney.
The nonprofit said those pre-K students will have at least $1,800 in that account by the time they graduate from high school.
“Such a magical thing. My brain just couldn’t comprehend the opportunity that the community’s given to us,” Marisela Acevedo said.
Money for the program came from a $4.6 million state grant. Students ages 3 and 4 who currently attend a state-subsidized preschool are eligible for an account.
“It doesn’t take away from any additional government assistance, any scholarship opportunities, any financial aid,” Gladney said. “It doesn’t take away from any of that. It is its own stand-alone account ’cause the parents and the family own it.”
The program is expected to grow from at least 2,000 students this school year to nearly 5,000 students by the end of the three-year grant.
Families like the Acevedos are banking on the money being a head start on their child’s path to success.
“When I think of her future, it’s given me hope. Like hope for her to go to college, go to university,” Marisela Acevedo said.
If a student decides not to use the money to further their education, they can still access the money when they turn 18, but it will be taxed.