White House Executive Director of the  Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Alejandra Ceja, stated, 529 College Savings Program are an opportunity to help build the financial capability of kids to be able to afford a college education.


Ceja and other leaders echoed those sentiments on television stations broadcasting throughout the United States and world including Chinese American station NTDTV (New Tang Dynasty Television), Univision, NBC, ABC, KCET, etc., as part of a morning long celebration of college saving organized by the El Monte Promise Foundation Scholars Savings Program!


Todd Mortensen of the Utah Educational Savings Plan went on to share “The 529 plan is a savings account specifically for college.” The main benefit of 529 college savings accounts is your earnings grow tax-deferred, and distributions to pay for the beneficiary’s college costs come out federally tax-free.


The El Monte Promise Foundation Scholars Savings Program is the brainchild of Dr. Norma Garcia! Dr. Garcia stated she had plenty of assistance constructing the program, not only from stakeholders, but from former United Way researcher, Dr. Ed Khashadourian, founder of Opportunity to Assets.

Stickers9Elementary students attending the celebration were treated to a special “Dream Big Day Experience” from author Sam X Renick and his main character Sammy Rabbit. Renick read the young scholars his book Sammy’s Big Dream. Then Sammy Rabbit and Renick led the 500 plus first graders in a singing of their signature song Get in the Habit! Both the storybook, Sammy’s Big Dream, and the video version of the song Get in the Habit can be found online for free, in Sammy Rabbit’s Dream Big Resource Center.

Throughout the celebration, guest speakers would ask, “Who’s going to college?” And first grade students from El Monte Unified School District in unison would respond in unison with joyful shouts of “Meeee!”


Nike Irvin of The California Community Foundation and Victor Ramirez, representing the Citibank Foundation, expressed their strong commitment to saving for college and early financial education. Both are significant stakeholders and funders of the Save for College Scholars Savings Program. Other significant stakeholders in the Program recognized at the celebration were First 5 Los Angeles, and the Utah Educational Savings Plan.

All in all it was a wonderful day where representatives of the White House, El Monte Promise Foundation, Sammy Rabbit, students, and community leaders came together to celebrate saving for college and 529 college savings plans.