“The idea is to give them this vision that college is as much a part of their future as high school or middle school,” said Tessa Ashton, a kindergarten teacher who speaks to her students about college every day.
As it so happens, Ashton knows Burbank from church, and their friendship would ultimately alter the lives of her students.
Instead of buying a boat, Burbank and his wife decided to invest in the futures of 26 kindergartners: he’s going to pay for all of their college tuitions.
Burbank told CNNMoney, “I thought, let’s take that financial burden away and maybe these kids will get more encouragement about going to college.”
By 2032, when the young students will be ready for college, Burbank’s investment may cost him about $1 million, but he plans on delaying his retirement to ease the burden. According to reports, Burbank will fund two years of community college and two years of California state school (or an out-of-state equivalent) for the 26 kindergartners. “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,” he said.
Perhaps the best part is that Burbank is asking very little in return.
In return for putting them through college, Burbank only asks for a drawing and essay each year from the 26 students regarding the impact their college education will have on their lives and families.
As for the effect Burbank’s inspiring generosity will have on the students, Tessa Ashton said, “Suddenly they can dream about a different future for their child, that’s pretty remarkable.”
SHARE this inspiring story and think of ways that you can give back, too!