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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 15, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 11
GSBA endorses Washington state DREAM Act
Section One
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GSBA endorses Washington state DREAM Act

Seattle's 'Gay chamber' advocates extending aid to all Washington students

The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) has endorsed the Washington State DREAM Act (HB 1817 and SB 5655). GSBA officials announced the endorsement March 14, issuing the following statement:

As a business chamber, we keenly understand the unique tie between a strong economy and an educated workforce. Our state enjoys diversity in the businesses and industries that choose to operate in Washington. However, keeping companies in Washington, sustaining a strong and diversified economy, and being competitive in a global economy requires a commitment to producing future generations of educated and qualified workers for our companies.

Twenty-two years ago, the GSBA began its commitment of investing in the next generations of leaders by creating the GSBA Scholarship Fund. What started with two $2,500 undergraduate scholarships, the GSBA will award $200,000 in scholarships in May, resulting in awards totaling more than $1.6 million. This year, GSBA further invests in its scholars by extending its program and granting its first graduate program scholarships.

GSBA scholars hail from communities throughout Washington state. We are acutely aware of the educational challenges of 'Dreamers,' because several of them have received GSBA scholarships. With the rising cost of tuition, a scholarship is often the difference between attending and not attending college for many Dreamers. In-state tuition is no longer enough - these educational high-achievers need financial aid, loans, and scholarships to pursue their careers and become productive members of our community. Extending state financial aid will fulfill the promise of investment in all of our state's children to obtain a college education.

Higher education is critical to providing Washington's workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in a global economy. We have already invested billions in K-12 education, and it makes no sense for Washington to abandon students just when they are poised to grow our businesses and industries. These hardworking students should be rewarded with opportunity rather than excluded from it. The Washington State DREAM Act keeps talented students in our state, which in turns keeps making Washington competitive.

ABOUT THE GSBA
The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) is this region's LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce proudly serving the business and nonprofit community since 1981. GSBA is the largest LGBT Chamber in the United States with over 1,000 members. More than a chamber, GSBA is a vibrant community organization with a broad and diverse membership base. GSBA is widely known throughout the Puget Sound region for its work on business development, connecting community through business, advocacy on both civil rights and business, and promoting LGBT Tourism through its Travel Gay Seattle tourism initiative. In addition, GSBA invests in the next generation of leaders by sponsoring a Scholarship Fund, which since 1990 has given out over $1.6 million in scholarships to undergraduates in Washington state. GSBA's mission is to combine business development, social action, and leadership to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT community and those who support equality for all. For more information about GSBA, visit www.thegsba.org.

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