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This Man Was Inspired By A Sermon To Help A Kindergarten Class Go To College

People can really surprise you sometimes. In this case, the surprised were 26 students, their parents and their teacher at Rio Vista Elementary School in Anaheim, Calif. The people who surprised them? A couple, moved by a sermon, that’s giving up on a personal dream in order to help those kids go to college.

This is Marty Burbank and Seon Chun-Burbank. They are changing the lives of 26 kindergarteners.

Credit:  Marty Burbank / Facebook

The Burbanks have pledged to give this class at Rio Vista Elementary School $1,000,000 to pay for their college.

Credit: CBS Evening News / YouTube

The students of this kindergarten class are all English-learning students and will be the first students in their families to go to college, thanks to the Burbanks.

Well, to be exact…

Credit: CBS Evening News / YouTube

“I just can’t believe it. I can’t,” Maria Rodriguez, a mother of one of the students, told KNBC. “I don’t believe someone would be this interested in paying the tuition of this many kids.”

The Burbanks have been volunteers for years, but last December they wanted to do more.

Credit: The Passion: Live / Fox / Passion: Live / Giphy

Marty Burbank was thinking about buying a yacht, until his pastor delivered a sermon that would completely change his mind.

Credit: Telemundo 52 / NBC Los Angeles

“…and he was talking about charity and giving and when he gave that sermon I just felt moved that buying a boat was a very selfish thing for me and I could do so much more to impact the lives of these kids,” Burbank told Telemundo 52.

So, instead of the boat, the couple decided to help 26 kindergarten kids go to college.

Credit: Marty Burbank / Facebook

The couple have long loved sailing, even getting married at sea, but the pastor’s message inspired them to give it up for a greater good.

Enter Tessa Ashton’s kindergarten class.

Credit: Marty Burbank / Facebook

The Burbanks know Ashton from church, and Marty Burbank knew there was so much he could do for the kids.

Ashton admits that she was unsure what the couple was going to offer when they first reached out.

“And he offers a game changer for their life,” she continued to CBS Evening News.

But there is a catch: The kids have to write an essay or draw a picture, once a year, showing the Burbanks what they want to become.

Credit: CBS Evening News / YouTube

BRB. There’s something in my eye.

Credit: The Hot Hits Living LA / Giphy

READ: One Dodger Clown’s Mission to Help L.A.’s Homeless

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Indigenous Purépecha Woman Gets Full Ride Scholarship To Attend Harvard

Things That Matter

Indigenous Purépecha Woman Gets Full Ride Scholarship To Attend Harvard

In just a few months, college freshmen will be descending on their campuses across the country. One of these students is Elizabeth Esteban who is the first person from her indigenous tribe in Mexico to be accepted to an Ivy League school.

Elizabeth Esteban is going to Harvard and it is a major deal.

Esteban is a member of the Purépecha tribe, an indigenous community from Michoacán, Mexico. Esteban is the first member of her tribe to be accepted into an Ivy League university, where indigenous representation remains small. Esteban’s parents work as farm laborers in the eastern Coachella Valley in California.

“Well I felt proud and excited, every sort of emotion because I never would have believed that a person like me, would be accepted to a prestigious university,” Esteban told NBC News.

Not only was Esteban accepted into Harvard, a prestigious university, she also received a full-ride scholarship. Esteban’s family is part of a community of hundreds of Purépecha people who relocated to the easter Coachella Valley in search of work and a better life.

Esteban plans to study political science.

Dr. Ruiz Speaks with State of the Union Guest, Elizabeth from Desert Mirage High School.

Join me for a live conversation with my guest for tonight's State of the Union, Elizabeth from Desert Mirage High School!

Posted by Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Esteban wants to make a difference in her community. As an indigenous woman, Esteban wants to break barriers that are set on women in her community. She told NBC News that her community expects for women to stay home and be stay-at-home mothers.

The incoming Harvard freshmen was discouraged from applying to Harvard at one point because of her community’s unreliable internet connection. Esteban lives in a mobile home with her family in Mecca and struggled to complete course work. The internet went down in the middle of her Harvard interview and it almost prevented her from applying to the university.

“Well, I felt proud and excited, every sort of emotion because I never would have believed that a person like me, would be accepted to a prestigious university,” Esteban told NBC News about being accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship.

READ: California, Harvard, MIT File Lawsuits To Challenge Government’s International Student Visa Announcement

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Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Fierce

Turns Out The First Owner Of Beverly Hills Was An Impressive Afro-Mexican Woman

Beverly Hills, one of the most well-known destinations in the country and world has long been a thriving and prime area for real-estate. Long before it was colonized by the Spanish, and was largely populated by rich white elites, the Indigenous people of California known as the Tongva, thrived there.

Hundreds of years later, in the 1830s, when the area was colonized, Maria Rita Valdez Villa, the granddaughter of Spanish colonists Luis and Maria Quintero and the great-granddaughter of an African slave was granted the original 4,500-acre of Beverly Hills, then known as El Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas.

Yes, as it turns out the foremother of Beverly Hills was a Black Latina!

During her ownership, Maria Rita oversaw cattle ranching and farming.

According to LA Magazine, Rita “was well known for holding a yearly celebratory rodeo under a famous eucalyptus tree at what is now Pico and Robertson boulevards.”

Sadly, after working the land for so much time, three Indigenous Californian outlaws attacked the ranch in 1852. The attack led to a shootout amongst “a grove of walnut trees at what is now Benedict Canyon and Chevy Chase drives” and eventually in 1854 Maria Rita decided to sell the area to investors Henry Hancock and Benjamin D. Wilson for $4,000.

Perhaps there’s a chance for justice for Maria Rita in the end.

Recently, Los Angeles County officials revealed that they were contemplating returning a beachfront property that was seized from a Black family nearly a century ago.

According to the Guardian, Manhattan Beach used “eminent domain” in 1924 to force Willa and Charles Bruce, the city’s first Black landowners, of the land where they lived. “The Bruces also ran a resort for Black families during a time when beaches in the strand were segregated,” explained the Guardian in a recent report. “Part of the land was developed into a city park. It is now owned by Los Angeles county and houses lifeguard headquarters and a training center.”

Manhattan Beach county Supervisor Janice Hahn announced that she was looking into ways to restore justice for Bruce family. Options include delivering the land back to the family, paying for losses, or potentially leasing the property from them

“I wanted the county of Los Angeles to be a part of righting this terrible wrong,” Hahn explained in a recent interview with KABC-TV.

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