Fresno’s former mayor turns campaign account funds into student scholarships


FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Fresno’s former mayor marked the end of his political career showing his support for the future leaders of Fresno.

Lee Brand donated almost $400,000 from his campaign account to eight local organizations for student scholarships.

“Every single one of those $25,000 will go to help students in our programs get tools, help them out with childcare, help them out with the social services they need, said Oliver Baines, President and CEO of the Central Valley NMTC Fund.

“80% of the students in the program come with significant social barriers, so we’re able to use a contribution like that to help them remove those barriers to employment.”

“I’m trying to reach like they’re trying to reach, the kids that are going to be maybe left out,” said Brand. “And if we can get them onto a path of higher education and college like I did, or to a good career job like a plumber or electrician, that can totally change their life, and it can change other generations.”

$100,000, the largest portion of the donation, went to Brand’s alma-mater Roosevelt High School, to help students pursue college or vocational school after graduation.

“And he really wanted to make sure this opportunity was available particularly to students who have overcome a barrier or made a significant change or improvement so they could graduate from high school,” said Roosevelt High School Principal Michael Allen.

Roosevelt High will be offering the ‘Mayor Lee Brand Scholarship’ to seniors for the next 10 years, starting with the class of 2021.

“Our next generation of teachers, nurses, mechanics, and who knows, maybe one of them could be mayor someday,” said Allen.

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