Personal Lives

Lawyer postpones boat and retirement to fund college for 26 kindergarteners

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A California lawyer postponed purchasing a boat and retirement to spend $1 million on something he considers more important—college for a kindergarten class.

On Monday, the 26 children in the Rio Vista Elementary School school class presented thank-you cards to attorney Marty Burbank and his wife, Seon Chun-Burbank. However, it will be years before they fully appreciate what the couple has agreed to do for them, Tessa Ashton, the teacher for the Anaheim class, tells the Orange County Register.

Ashton and Burbank attend the same church, and he told the newspaper a Christmas season sermon about giving inspired him to rethink his priorities. His wife, the article notes, was the first person in her family to graduate from college, which was funded by a relative.

The couple’s gift will pay for two years of community college and two years at a California State University, as well as books. The students are required to draw a picture or write an essay each year about what their college education would mean to them and their family, the Register reports.

The children in the class “don’t come from families where anybody has had an opportunity to go to college,” Burbank said, so their parents don’t talk to them about college.

“Buying a boat was a very selfish thing for me, and I can do so much more to impact the lives of these kids,” he told KNBC.

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