First lady Jill Biden makes stop in Mesa to promote administration’s commitment to education

Feb 14, 2023, 4:15 AM

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)...

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — First lady Jill Biden spent her Monday in the Valley in Mesa highlighting her husband’s administration’s dedication to education.

Biden and others spoke about the success of the Mesa College Promise, a program started in 2021 that provides the city’s eligible high school graduates with two free years at Mesa Community College.

The first lady was joined by Gov. Katie Hobbs, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Mesa Mayor John Giles during the appearance.

“We need more communities to follow Mesa’s lead,” Biden said at the event at MCC. “Look at the diversity here.

“No matter their background — where they come from, who they are — every single student will have the chance to follow their passions and find a pathway to a great job.”

Lilly Hernandez, a beneficiary of the program, said she initially wasn’t planning to go to college after high school because her family couldn’t afford to pay for it.

She got a job at Lowe’s, but it didn’t pay enough for her to leave her parents’ house.

A conversation with a vice principal at her old high school led to her applying for the program.

“I was accepted into the Mesa Promise program and the fact that I don’t have to pay for a tuition is the only reason I’m able to stand here today,” Hernandez said.

Giles, a Republican, said raising money for the program has been “the easiest job I’ve ever had as mayor.”

The program’s fall 2023 application process opens March 1, with a priority deadline of May 15 and a final deadline of July 15.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The Loop 101 freeway will be closed in both directions near Tatum Boulevard over three nights this ...

Overnight Loop 101 closures near Tatum Boulevard to start Monday

Both directions of the Loop 101 in northeast Phoenix near Tatum Boulevard will be closed three nights for utility work starting Monday.

5 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

Weekend Wrap: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from June 14-16

From Arizona lawmakers passing a controversial bipartisan state budget to a fire blazing north of Fountain Hills, here are some of the biggest news stories in the Valley over the weekend.

7 hours ago

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north phoenix....

Parking dispute leaves Phoenix man dead in overnight shooting

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north Phoenix.

7 hours ago

A 2-year-old girl died after falling into a backyard pool in Phoenix....

2-year-old girl found dead in Phoenix backyard pool

Detectives are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a backyard pool on Saturday in Phoenix.

9 hours ago

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

10 hours ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

First lady Jill Biden makes stop in Mesa to promote administration’s commitment to education