Stockton’s first Black mayor offers the city’s public high school grads college scholarships

Michael Tubbs is creating change in California

Stockton, CA Mayor Michael Tubbs (Photo:

Despite a group of activists trying to get Michael Tubbs recalled as mayor of Stockton, CA, the 27-year-old is pressing forward with a new scholarship initiative that he hopes will improve the quality of life of his citizens.

Tubbs, who is the first African American mayor of Stockton, just announced a plan to provide all Stockton public high school graduates with college scholarships through a $20 million grant.

Under the Stockton Scholars program, Stockton high school graduates admitted to four and two-year colleges will receive $4000 and $1000, respectively. That works out to $1000 per year for four-year university students and $500 per year for those headed to two-year schools.

“Scholars is a game changer that will reshape the trajectory of our city for decades to come. Today, I am challenging this city to raise a total of $100 million, so that we can help cover the cost of college for all of our students,” said Tubbs in a statement.

The scholarship initiative will begin in 2019. The $20 million will fund the program for 10 years. Tubbs hopes to raise an additional $80 million to fund Stockton Scholars indefinitely.

In a letter posted on the program’s website, Tubbs explained his personal connection to this scholarship opportunity.


“In many ways, my story parallels that of Stockton’s. Statistically speaking, as a young Black man born and raised in South Stockton, it was highly unlikely for me to attend college and much less become mayor. With the guidance of a supportive network of individuals who nurtured my personal, intellectual, and professional growth, I was able to attend and graduate from Stanford University. I am proof positive of the positive returns that come in investing in young people and their future.”

College scholarships for high school grads sounds great, but not everyone is in agreement with Tubbs’ other initiatives. A vocal group of activists are working to get him recalled after the city council voted in favor of creating Tubbs’ controversial  Advanced Peace program.

The project provides mentorship to convicted criminals and also provides a monthly stipend of $300 to $700. Advanced Peace is solely funded by donations.