Philanthropist promises free college tuition to senior class

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Posted at 5:34 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 17:34:51-05

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A philanthropist announced Wednesday that he will pay for the college education of a graduating class of high school seniors in Ohio.

Pete Kadens, an Ottawa Hills native who now lives in Chicago, pledged during an assembly to pay college tuition, room, board and fees for graduating seniors from Scott High School in Toledo.

The students and parents at the assembly erupted with cheers and tears of joy as Kadens made his pledge, the Toledo Blade reported. Kadens said he would also provide funding to send one parent or guardian of each student to college for free.

Kadens retired as the CEO of national cannabis company Green Thumb Industries at the age of 40 to pursue philanthropic pursuits.

The pledge is part of Kadens' educational initiative called Helping Our Population Educate or HOPE Toledo, which encourages members of the community to donate to help send students to college, debt-free.