It was with great pleasure that we reported on the reinstatement of the Peter F. Vallone Sr. Scholarship this week.
For more than 10 years, the scholarship assisted students – regardless of immigration status – by giving them money to go to the City University of New York. While New York State continues to debate the merits of the DREAM Act, many have rightly called the Vallone scholarship the City’s first DREAM Act. The scholarship’s defunding in 2011, allegedly for political retribution, did nothing but hurt students who relied upon the scholarship to help them achieve a higher education.
Former Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., along with his father, were outspoken about the need to reinstate the scholarship. Councilman Paul Vallone, the latest member of the family to enter the City Council, said that reinstating the scholarship was one of his primary goals when he took office in January.
The return of the Vallone Scholarship is also indicative of a change within the culture of the Council. The defunding was a key example of a system manipulated by politics, and not focusing on the greater good.
We applaud the City Council and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for helping to push through the reinstatement of the Vallone Scholarship. Now more than ever, as tuition costs continue to grow, students can use all the help they can get. Hopefully, the scholarship continues to help students for generations to come.