Governor Rick Scott has cut funding for a local program, Learn2earn, which helps empower local at-risk highschool students.
Mayor Alvin Brown says the program is vital because it teaches the power and importance of higher education. The program gives disadvantaged highschool sophomores and juniors a chance to live on campus and gain the full college experience during the summer. Many of the students come from low income families and are the first in their families to have a chance to go to college.
"Education will give them options, we want more entrepreneurs and business leaders," said Brown.
In the pilot year of 2012, the program accepted 200 students. Brown says its important to invest in the lives of young people. He wants them to be successful and return to Jacksonville to become leaders and entrepreneurs.
"Only 25 percent of the population over 25 have a college degree in Jacksonville."
Brown says he will forge a public-private partnership to keep the program going. He released a statement Monday saying he was disappointed in Governor Scott's decision to veto the Learn2Earn initiative. However, Brown says he is committed to empowering Jacksonville's youth.
"We aren’t going to turn our backs on these kids and their families being able to participate in the Learn2Earn experience.”