COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- For the first time ever, a Governor of Colorado walked the halls at Harrison High School. On Tuesday morning, the school welcomed Governor Polis as he took a tour of the campus and met with students and faculty.
Principal Peter Vargas shared his excitement.
"The Governor of Colorado, the eyes of Colorado are upon us right now is what I shared with them yesterday, and to have that excitement and you can see it and you can feel it," Vargas said.
And it wasn't just faculty that was excited. Karla Almaraz, a senior at Harrison High School, said this is an incredible opportunity.
“It’s going to be a nice opportunity for him to truly see the environment that we are in, that Harrison is very diverse," said Almaraz. "We have a lot of great athletes, musicians, academics.”
But the main reason for the Governor's visit is a scholarship called the “Dakota Promise.”
Starting in the fall of 2020, every student in District 2 with a GPA of 2.5 or higher will get paid tuition and fees at Pikes Peak Community College.
“Especially important for first-generation college-goers who their parents haven’t gone to college," said Gov. Polis. "'How can I do it?' Guess what? You can do it. It won’t cost you anything. Fill out the paperwork, get good grades and you’ll be able to get the training you need to get a good job.”
The program is completely funded for the first three years, but Polis hopes this program will continue to be funded for years to come.
"This kind of partnership between a school district and Pikes Peak Community College can be done between other community colleges and school districts," said Polis. "We need to really scale this across the state.”
To continue to receive the scholarship, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA at PPCC and take at least 24 credits each year.