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Tucson Business Couple Steps up to Pay for the First Two Years of University for Entire Class at Nearby Elementary School

Every student of Mission View Elementary School’s fourth grade class will have the first two years of a university or trade school paid for. Gary and Tandy Kippur, owners of Tucson Iron and Metal, decided to make a difference in the lives of children attending an elementary school near their scrap metal yard.

Gary Kippur had seen businesses around the country commit to higher education for children and has thought about providing a similar program locally for a long time. Now he’s made the commitment. He said, “when a child is in the fourth grade, it’s the ideal time to show them what educational options are possible to them and to show them that the community cares for them.”

Tucson Iron and Metal chose the students of Mission View Elementary because the school already has a program in place in which the kids set their own goals. The students keep data binders so that they are accountable to themselves. With this program, the students review themselves in the teacher-parent conferences and show their parents their accomplishments and also where there is room for improvement. Tandy Kippur said, “we like this program because there is clear goal setting and expectations coming from the kids and it seems a perfect fit.”

Andrea Kippur, the Kippur’s eldest daughter is also working on the project. She explains the program. “Tucson Iron and Metal has committed to paying the equivalent of two years’ tuition at Pima Community College, or $10,000 to each of the thirty-eight fourth graders at Mission View Elementary. There are no GPA minimums to earn the scholarship. The only requirements are that the student graduate from high school and go to an accredited higher education school, which could be a university, community college or trade school. We feel this will open many avenues for the students to succeed.” The students in this fourth-grade class would be the first in their families to receive a secondary education.

Tucson Iron and Metal created The Tucson Iron and Metal Foundation and has established a fund housed at the Jewish Community Foundation (JCF) to facilitate the scholarship offering. The money needed to fund the fourth graders secondary education has already been set aside for the students. Graham Hoffman, President and CEO, Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona (JFSA) and JCF comments “The Kippur family and the JFSA are hopeful that by setting this example, others will be motivated to follow in their footsteps and consider similar investments in education to benefit the community.” The Tucson Iron and Metal Fund for Higher Education, serviced by the JCF, is accepting donations for the next class of fourth graders at Mission View Elementary, the class of 2031. Donations can be accepted here.

Additionally, the Lapan Sunshine Foundation located near Mission View Elementary will provide the mentorship and tools needed to ensure that each child graduates high school. Jackie Lapan, CEO states, “We are excited to work with the Kippurs and Mission View Elementary School. In 1989, Patricia Lapan, our founder, wanted to help students who had the drive and determination to succeed, but may not qualify for scholarships. The Lapan College & Career Club provides students and parents with additional resources and information to help them make the most of this opportunity.”