The Rio Promise: Free Tuition for a Priceless Future


Noah Garcia

Supertintendent Teresa Dreyfuss at the private announcement of the Rio Promise, in the Boardroom on May 4

Noah Garcia, Opinion Editor/ Co EIC

The Rio Promise had its official announcement and launch at the RHC Campus May 4th. The program provides free tuition, priority registration, and a comprehensive educational plan for graduating High School seniors.

The V.I.P. reception took place at the Administration’s Board room where district officials and local political leaders listened to superintendent and president Teresa Dreyfuss and Board of Trustees president Edith Garcia Officially who officially announced the project.

Students that are eligible for this program are from the local School district, which contains Whittier Union HS District, El Rancho Unified School DIstrict, and El Monte Union HS District. Registration requirements includes: 2017 Freshmen registration in the fall, status as a full-time Student(12 units or more), Enrollment in English/Math courses and a FAFSA/Dream act application completion and submission.

Students in the program are advised to sign up for the summer bridge program which helps incoming students integrate into the RHC community socially and academically. When asked on where the funding for this plan is coming from, Garcia’s frustration with being denied grants from the state of California and their alternative plans was very clear.

“A lot of our funding depends on enrollment. So what we want to do is make sure that if we increase our enrollment, we also increase our funding. And so we are using that funding, to pay for the college.” Garcia continued to talk about RHC’s students education and community equity, which is something she hopes to not only solidify students in their careers, but benefit the community as a whole.

“The number one deterrent for them advocating for college in their home was their parents thinking that they could never afford to send them to college… we are making sure, that regardless of income, we are opening the doors to education and that’s exciting.”

Once the advanced announcement was finished and breakfast was served, the speaker and supporters moved to the Wray Theatre, which is where the announcement was made to 250 high schoolers from the district. Special speaker at the event was LA County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis who was a former federal employee, as well as a RHC graduate. Solis spoke on her achievements, and how her pursuit of higher education helped her in her career.. After the presentation the high school students were given lunch and a small introspective into the college’s educational programs through informational booths.

“The Rio Promise definitely change my mind. I have opportunities to go to a private [university] or a UC, but they never really offered me what I really wanted,” said La Serna senior Mariah Beltran, who stated that Rio Hondo was now the school of her choice.

The Rio Promise is a program that will try to give students with various economic backgrounds education, as well as build a strong foundation for the careers and opportunities to come for said students.

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