Marty Burbank is sending an entire kindergarten class to college.
Burbank announced this week that he will be sending the current kindergarten class at Rio Vista Elementary School in Anaheim, California, to college when they are ready.
Burbank pledged $1 million which will cover two years at a community college and two years at a California state school — or the equivalent if they attend out-of-state.
There is one small stipulation. Each child must draw a picture or write an essay each year which explains what going to college will mean for them and their family.
“I’m a strong believer in visualizing your goals, and this way they’ll be thinking about this each year for the next 12 years,” Burbank told CNN.
Sending these children to college holds a special place in Burbank’s heart. The attorney and Navy veteran, and his wife Seon, a professor at Vanguard University, were the first in their families to go to college.
Burbank estimates that tuition will cost about $1 million by 2032 and he has set up a private foundation where he’ll contribute some funds each year until there’s enough.
The class receiving the money is full of students who speak Spanish as a first language. Many arrived at school the first day knowing very little English.
Burbank says he was going to buy a boat, but after listening to one of his pastor’s sermons he decided to make a personal sacrifice and change the lives of the young children forever.
Rio Vista Elementary is currently involved in a school-wide initiative aimed at getting students to talk about college on a regular basis.
The sacrifice means Burbank, 51, will delay his retirement to pay for the donation.
Burbank tried to keep the donation a secret, but now that news of his donation has gotten out, he is hoping others will do something similar.