A small win for Oakland kids, but a win nonetheless.
Oakland businessman and community leader, Cestra “Ces” Butner, pledged another $500,000 to East Bay College Fund in front of 600 scholars, mentors, and volunteers during the organization’s 2018 Winter Retreat at Oakland Technical High School on January 4th. With an initial pledge of $500,000 last year, this now puts Ces at the $1 Million dollar donation circle.
So how are schools going to use it you may ask? More specifically, East Bay College Fund will administer the scholarships; whilst providing wraparound support services to help scholars stay on track to earn their college degrees. The hope is to keep students on track educationally and off the streets.
Though with the free tuition change at City College of California, enrollment is as higher than ever—so much so that students are commuting from all corners of the bay to get an education without having to pay for it. From when we reported that story, the late Mayor Ed Lee agreed to spend $5.4 million on free tuition for San Francisco residents as well as books for low-income students in the upcoming school year. The funding is enough to cover tuition for current students while allowing for a 20 percent increase in enrollment.
For Ces however, he’s excited to contribute to East Bay education any way he can, ““It has been a great year for me. I ended up selling my business and it afforded me an opportunity to fund the CesTRA Butner Family Foundation…dedicated to education and to provide it for Hispanic and black kids in Oakland,” said Butner. “That’s why I’m pleased to announce that I’m prepared to give another half million dollars.”
// What are your thoughts? We’d love to know here! Header photo via East Bay Post.