(KGTV) - Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced Friday a $33 million scholarship grant for Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
The grant to TheDream.US will give 1,000 immigrant graduates of U.S. high schools the opportunity to go to college. It is the largest grant in the foundation's history.
TheDream.US teams up with more than 70 low-cost colleges in 15 states. Dreamers receive a total of $33,000 in scholarship aid over four years to help pay the cost of tuition, fees and books. 2,850 students are currently enrolled in college under the program, according to the foundation.
“My dad came to the U.S. when he was 16 as part of Operation Pedro Pan,” said Jeff Bezos. “He landed in this country alone and unable to speak English. With a lot of grit and determination – and the help of some remarkable organizations in Delaware – my dad became an outstanding citizen, and he continues to give back to the country that he feels blessed him in so many ways. MacKenzie and I are honored to be able to help today’s Dreamers by funding these scholarships.”
Dreamers are currently ineligible for federal grants and loans and receive no state tuition aid in 44 states. They must pay out-of-state or international tuition in more than 15 states, the foundation said.
Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, founder of Blue Origin, and owner of The Washington Post. MacKenzie Bezos is the author of two novels; her first book, The Testing of Luther Albright, won an American Book Award in 2006. They live in Seattle and have four children.