Fighting for Florida

Of all my parents' hopes and dreams, their principal one was for me and my siblings to accomplish our dreams. My parents worked long, hard hours - my father as a bartender and my mother as a maid and stock clerk - so that we could have the types of careers they weren’t able to achieve. They believed and worked toward the American dream: to fulfill the desire of every parent to leave their children with a better life than their own. Because of my parents’ hard work, my own determination and through programs like Pell Grants and student loans, I was able to not only get a college degree, but also a law degree. My experience is a quintessential American story, and it’s why I am co-sponsoring the American Dream Accounts Act of 2012.  

This bill uses existing Department of Education funds to award three-year competitive grants to organizations and partnerships to provide counseling and financial support for low-income students who are preparing for college. Grant winners will establish and administer American Dream Accounts (ADAs), which are personal online accounts that will allow parents, teachers, counselors and mentors to monitor a student's higher education readiness and provide information relating to college enrollment and financial assistance, as well as academic and career interests.  ADAs also include individual college savings accounts for each student, though grantees cannot use grant funds to seed such savings accounts.  

High school students should be afforded the opportunity to attend a some kind higher education institution and, through this bill, those students will have meaningful counseling about which options best suit their individual needs and goals.