Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Costco Scholarship Breakfast
September 20, 2002

Good morning.

Thank you, President McCormick and Father Sundborg. I’m honored to be here.

Thank you, Edward James Olmos from “Stand & Deliver”, “Miami Vice” and “American Family.”

And I want to thank all of you for being here. Thank you for your hard work and your contributions.

Together, both supporters and participants, you’re making the Costco Scholarship program a huge success. A $2.6 million success to date!

I’d also like to thank Costco president and CEO Jim Sinegal, and Jeff Brotman, Chairman of the Board. Jim is chair of the Seattle University Board of Trustees, and Jeff serves on the Board of Regents for the University of Washington.

I am very pleased that we’ll be hearing from two Costco scholars this morning—Shannon Mack of Seattle University, and Marleen Martinez of the University of Washington. Shannon and Marleen represent the 279 students who have been assisted by this program. With many more to come!

Today we celebrate the power of education!

My parents believed fervently in education. There was no question growing up that I would be attending college. I wasn’t sure how I’d manage it. But I knew it was what I had to do, thanks to my mom and dad. And thanks to financial aid, scholarships and part-time work, I was able to attend college.

I was able to graduate, and go on to law school. I was able to choose my destiny. That’s why I am deeply committed to financial aid and scholarship programs for all students in need.

I believe with all my heart in the American dream. All of us in this room are living the American dream. And part of the American dream is a college education.

Every American is entitled to have this dream come true. No young person should ever be denied a college education and a better life because of economic circumstances. Our society cannot afford to see the dream denied. We cannot afford to lose the contributions of young and vibrant minds.

These are tough economic times making it harder for students of color and their families to afford college. That’s why the Costco Scholarship fund is important. It’s making sure that promising minority students get their chance.

The fund recognizes the value of diversity—and that diversity makes our state and country strong.

Last week I stood at Westlake Center on our Sept. 11, day of remembrance. We paid tribute to the victims and rescue workers. I talked about the everyday heroes all around us that make our country great.

I challenged every citizen of Washington to do something to make our communities stronger.

Today I am looking at a room full of everyday heroes. I see people who are doing something—something important for our communities. And from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Thank you for living the American dream, and helping others live it.

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