Biz, Tech Leaders Support DREAMer Scholarship Fund

Mark Zuckerberg FacebookTheDream.US, a scholarship fund launched last spring that’s specifically geared toward undocumented students who are ineligible for federal financial aid, got a $5 million boost to its coffers earlier in June with a donation from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.  TheDream.US funds are designed as a “private sector analogue to states that have moved to offer in-state tuition rates” to those who qualify as having Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.

In a Facebook status update following his donation, Zuckerberg wrote, “Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants are part of our communities and attend school legally in the United States.” Zuckerbergs continues, “Many of them moved to America early in their lives and can’t remember living anywhere else. They want to remain in the country they love and be a part of America’s future. But without documentation, it’s often a struggle to get a college education, and they don’t have access to any kind of federal aid.”

Besides the June donation to TheDream.US, Zuckerberg is a long-time supporter of immigration reform. In early 2014, we told you about FWD.US as a group the tech guru started in response to seeing talented high school kids with no options for attending college. Other tech titans likewise aligned with FWD.US, including  LinkedIn founder Reig Hoffman, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

As far as TheDream.US is concerned, funders include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Fernandez Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Inter-American Development Bank, Patty Stoesifer & Michael Kinsley. TheDream.US. was founded by Donald Graham, the former owner of The Washington Post. The D.C.-based paper, which the Graham Family had owned for generations, was sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2013.

At its founding last year, TheDream.US had raised more than $25 million with the aim of funding scholarships for more than 2,000 people attending one of the group’s partner schools. At the time, the partner schools included 12 community colleges, four-year schools and one online program.

“While immigration reform may eventually address the issue, TheDream.US founders are not content to wait as the futures of these young Americans hang in the balance,” a statement from the group said at the time.  And with the organization’s latest donation, it appears the sentiment still rings true.