A Yacht or an Education?

A Yacht or an Education?

When faced with a choice between investing your hard-earned money on purchasing a yacht or providing an education for a stranger, many undoubtedly would choose the yacht. And who can blame them? After all, if you’re in the tax bracket that can even realistically consider a yacht, with all of its storage, operation, and maintenance costs in addition to the ticket price, then you’ve reached a place where you feel you deserve a reward.

There are others, however, who after some rumination, decide on providing an education for someone who probably would not have the opportunity otherwise. Marty and Sean Burbank did not just generously offer to cover one person’s 4-year tuition, though, they’ve taken a class of 26 kindergartners under their wings and guaranteed each of them a college education.

The children, who are English language learners, faced an uphill struggle when they first arrived at Rio Vista Elementary School in California. The school created a type of college network in which each teacher chose a college to emphasize for the entire year, including colors and mascots, and in that way, they introduced the idea of college as an option early and daily. When Tessa Ashton, the kindergartner’s teacher, told the Burbank’s about her school’s program, it inspired them to also give something back to the community.

They’ve set up a fund for each child to attend a community college for two years followed by a California State University for an additional two years. The Burbanks are themselves first-generation college graduates, and they’ve worked hard to achieve what they have. Marty sums up he and his wife’s decision by paraphrasing a saying, “Give until it hurts a little, and this hurts. But we feel this is the best investment we could make.”

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