Governor Calvo appoints Lt. Governor and former Sen. Tony Ada to lead effort.
Aug. 4, 2017 (Hagåtña) — Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio met Governor Eddie Calvo and Senator Tony Ada this morning to discuss the Lt. Governor’s plans on providing Guamanian families a tuition-free college education.
“Graduating seniors' dreams of higher education more often than not go unrealized, not for a lack of desire but for a lack of resources. I am committed to our children's future and our island's long-term growth. To do so, we must invest in high school graduates' education if we are to place them on a trajectory to improving their quality of life for working families.” the Lt. Governor said.
Ray Tenorio was personally aware of the struggles that graduating high school seniors encounter in seeking higher education. His family did not have much money and could not pay for college. Despite facing many challenges throughout his life, Ray’s family encouraged him to overcome poverty through support for his education. This motivated him to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UOG.
“I have always believed that education is the single greatest ingredient to building the foundation for a prosperous individual. Education enables a person to gain employment, purchase a home, stabilize their family, and become a more vested member of our island community. Education is the solution to so many of our challenges,“ Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio said. As a career public safety advocate, he has sought crime prevention through education since his first 2002 campaign for senator.
“Approximately 30% of our island is living on one form of public assistance or another. If we are serious about improving the future generations' quality of life and building a self-sustaining future for our working families- higher education is key. It means higher paying jobs and financial independence,” former Senator Tony Ada said. Ada currently serves as the Governor’s liaison on external affairs.
According to a KUAM report, a recent exit survey taken by 96 percent of high school seniors, indicated that over half of high school seniors don’t plan to pursue post-secondary education after completing high school because they either did not have the financial means, or didn’t know how to find financial assistance.
According to the Governor’s Special Assistant on Education Vince Leon Guerrero, approximately 2,000 students graduated from high school this year, and only about 18% will go to college.
“We need to bring these numbers up; we need to bring these students up with the strength to climb up the ladder of life. If the government invests in doubling or tripling the amount of high school seniors who enter college or a trade’s school, we can imagine the positive impact this would have on our community and the quality of life of our children.” the Lt. Governor said.
“The best economic policy is education,” Governor Calvo said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how their work on this unfolds.”
Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio and Tony Ada will be meeting with education officials next week to discuss his plan.