This is the fifth fall that Chief Sealth International High School graduates are among the new South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) students taking advantage of the 13th Year Promise – a free year of tuition. It was first offered to Cleveland High School graduating seniors in 2008, adding Sealth in 2011, and Rainier Beach in 2013. We stopped by SSC on Thursday as this year’s group finished the summer jump-start known as “Bridge.” Among those they heard from, SSC president Gary Oertli, who had a personal story to tell:
Oertli is a Sealth alum who was one of the first in his family to go to college – the University of Washington, he said, though the accomplishments of which he’s proudest are those of his daughters, both college graduates. He told the students that people who finish college are more likely to have kids who go to college. For students interested in starting at SSC and transferring, he added, they do better at UW than many of those who are there from the start. We talked briefly with one of the Sealth grads who’s taking advantage of the 13th Year Promise, Mallena Garcia:
One more side note – former Seahawks player Edwin Bailey was among those in attendance, there with two other Sealth alums, West Seattle entrepreneur Steve Huling and lawyer Jerry Cohen. Bailey had recently spoken to their 50th-anniversary class reunion and mentioned the 13th Year Promise program, which led some of the alums to make contributions, and he attended Thursday’s event as an honored guest. The program is funded via the college’s donation-powered Foundation and is available to Sealth, Cleveland, and RB graduates regardless of financial need/status, as explained here.
P.S. Fall classes start at SSC on September 28th.