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Seattle Mayor Durkan Visits South to Introduce Seattle Promise Tuition Program

Picture of campus

November 29, 2017

Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, in her first full day in office on Nov. 29, came to South Seattle College to sign an executive order creating the Seattle Promise College Tuition program, ushering in a new era of opportunity for Seattle high schools graduates to attend the Seattle Colleges (South Seattle College, Seattle Central College and North Seattle College) with their first two years of tuition covered.

Durkan’s Seattle Promise is greatly inspired by the 13th Year Promise Scholarship created by the South Seattle College Foundation in 2008.  The 13th Year program currently guarantees every graduate from Cleveland, Chief Sealth International, and Rainier Beach high schools the opportunity to attend South Seattle College tuition-free for one year along with special support services to help them succeed.  SSC’s program is expanding to include West Seattle High School starting with their class of 2018, and both Seattle Central College and North Seattle College are in the process of creating their own 13th Year program and will be offering the scholarship to an initial high school in their service area starting with the 2018-19 academic year. 

As part of Durkan’s announcement, she said current first-year 13th Year scholars attending South Seattle College will have their second year of tuition covered by funding through Seattle Promise.  To further develop the program, she has asked an interdepartmental team, in partnership with Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Colleges, to develop a plan that details how the program will expand and work over time.

Before holding a press conference to announce Seattle Promise, Mayor Durkan was joined by South Seattle College Interim President Peter Lortz, Vice President of Student Services Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap, Student Government President Angel Delker and 13th Year Scholar Asmaa Dubad in touring a few spots on campus, including Physics Instructor Abby Daane’s Physics 221 class and TRIO Student Success Services, where the mayor interacted with students to learn more about their studies and professional goals.

During the press event, Seattle Colleges Chancellor Shouan Pan spoke about the impact and history of 13th Year and Seattle Colleges’ excitement in working with the city and Mayor Durkan to provide more higher education opportunity to our youth.  13th Year Promise Scholarship and South alum Myron Ramirez spoke about the impact the 13th Year scholarship had on his personal life, creating the spark that led to his eventual graduation from the University of Washington and a successful career in construction management.  As Mayor Durkan signed the executive order, she was surrounded by South students.

To learn more about the Seattle Promise, please check out the City of Seattle’s news release.

To see the press conference announcing Seattle Promise, please visit the Seattle Channel.