Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
2002 Promise Scholarship Address (EWU, CWU, PLU, Clark College)
October 7, 2002

Good morning everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here. This is a beautiful campus.

College campuses are special places. They radiate idealism and intellectual energy.

Tradition and change.

The pride of the past and the promise of the future.

All dreams seem possible on a nice fall day, strolling across campus.

Education makes dreams possible.

When I was growing up, my parents taught me that important lesson.

They instilled in me a passion for learning.

There was no question growing up that I would be attending college. The question was how.

My parents gave me love and support and encouragement, but they were not affluent.

Thanks to financial aid, scholarships and part-time work, I was able to attend college.

I graduated, and went 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.

A college education is part of the American dream.

I believe with all my heart in the American dream. I should—I am living it.

Every American deserves this dream.

No academically successful high school student should lose a college opportunity because they cannot afford it.

Our society cannot afford to see the dream denied.

We cannot afford to lose the contributions of young and vibrant minds. Merit, not money, should matter most.

Too many good students have poor prospects for a college education because of money. That’s why I proposed the Promise Scholarships.

The Promise Scholarships emphasize academic merit, not just financial need.

Students in the top 15% of their high school graduating class are eligible, and students who exceed an SAT score of 1200 on their first attempt.

Eligible students must have family incomes that do not exceed 135% of the state’s median family income.

And the scholarships do not reduce other financial aid.

These basic requirements make a simple statement to Washington young people: if you achieve and need help to go to college, we will help you.

This program helps low- and middle-income students live the American dream.

The Legislature made this program permanent by law this year.

We are in our fourth successful year. Nearly 7,000 students are eligible for scholarships.

That’s 7,000 people who will realize their dreams. 7,000 people who will make a meaningful difference in our society.

Good education at all levels is a partnership. A partnership of students, parents, teachers, school administrators, communities, businesses and government.

Today we honor that partnership. We honor our commitment to the future of Washington.

Behind every good student are many people who care, nurture, encourage and motivate.

I want to thank all of you—to the mothers and fathers, the teachers and counselors, the family and friends who are here today—thank you.

And finally, congratulations to the Promise Scholarship recipients.

You have worked hard. You show great promise. And our promise to you is that we will help you on your way to your dream.

We believe in you. We’re proud of you.

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