July 3, 2018
Hagåtña — The U.S. Department of the Interior has awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Office two grants totaling approximately $1M for tuition-free college at the Guam Trades Academy and the Guam Community College.
In August of last year, Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio met with Gov. Eddie Calvo and former Sen. Tony Ada to discuss the Lieutenant Governor’s plans on providing Guamanian families a tuition-free college education. The Governor then appointed the Lt. Governor and Tony Ada to lead the effort.
“After meeting with the Governor and education leaders at the University of Guam, the Guam Community College and the Guam Trades Academy, my office and Tony Ada began putting in grant applications for funding to pilot this initiative. I’m very pleased that the Department of Interior has responded favorably,” Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio said.
According to Tony Ada, who is the father of four children: “My wife Annette and I both struggled as young parents to put our children through school and college. It is my dream to ensure that all of our Guamanian children, who have the aspiration for higher education, realize their dream.”
“More often than not, the dream of a higher education for graduating high school seniors goes unrealized, not for a lack of desire, but for a lack of resource. If we are truly committed to a prosperous future for our island and improving the quality of life of our working families, we must invest in their education and provide them a springboard,” the Lt. Governor added.
Despite having faced many challenges in his life, Ray Tenorio knew that the best way to overcome adversity — including poverty and a life of crime — was through education. This is what motivated him to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. While doing so, he became acutely aware of the struggles that graduating high school seniors encounter in seeking higher education.
“Sending more of our children to college will cause transformational change in our community, putting more money in the hands of working families and fixing challenges in areas such as crime,” the Lt. Governor said. As a public safety advocate, he has sought crime prevention through education since his first ran for office in 2002.
According to a study conducted at Georgetown University, in the next two years approximately two out of every three jobs will require education beyond high school. Over 2,000 students graduated from high school in 2017, of this only 18% went off to college and the other 82% did not.
“We need to bring these numbers up,” Governor Eddie Calvo said. “The best economic policy is education. There is an opportunity to fill the skilled labor and H2B shortage gap with Guamanians. I’m very pleased with the progress made by my Lieutenant Governor, Tony Ada and members of the Administration on this important initiative.”
The Administration will announce details of the pilot Tuition-Free College pilot program at a future date and estimates that the funding will allow it to send an estimated 200 high school students to college the first year.
July 3, 2018