Press Release

Minority college students speak out against SB 1146 New videos explaining how SB 1146 hurts low-income minority students sent to 15 million CA voters

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

Washington, D.C.

Videos featuring the personal stories of minority college students who would be harmed if California politicians pass SB 1146 were shared with over 15 million California voters yesterday. In the videos, the students explain how SB 1146 will take Cal Grants from lower-income students who, like themselves, attend California colleges with religious affiliations.

The videos are featured on a website launched last week that explains how SB 1146 victimizes poor African-American and Latino students. Over 100,000 California voters have already added their names to a petition opposing SB 1146 for its unfair harm to minority students.

Three out of four Cal Grant recipients at religious colleges are low-income minorities. By cutting off their ability to use Cal Grants at religious colleges, SB 1146 would push minorities out of religious schools that do a better job of graduating minorities and into failing state schools. For example, Fresno Pacific University graduates over 70 percent of Latinos within 4 years, compared to the California State University system that graduates only 10 percent. And because state schools are heavily subsidized, taxpayers would end up paying about $100 million more per year for less quality education.

The new videos share the stories of Deja Alewine, Jorge Cubillos, and Leonel Loera, three Fresno Pacific University students from low-income minority backgrounds:

  • “”The people considering SB 1146 really need to understand the impact this bill will have on people’s education,” says Deja Alewine, an African-American student who comes from a single-parent household. “This impacts our lives. It impacts our future. ”
  • “My parents originally came here because they were farm workers. It was only because I received a Cal Grant … that school became an option for me,” says Jorge Cubillos, who was the first in his family to attend college. “SB 1146, if it passes, it’s going to hold back a lot of students. It’s going to hold back a lot of potential. Future leaders, future inventors, future teachers. It’s going to hold back progress.”
  • “There are a lot of students out there like me who are heavily supported by the Cal Grant,” says Leonel Loera, a journalism student at Fresno Pacific University. “Without it, we won’t be able to accomplish our dreams.”

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.


Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States Supreme Court. For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians (read more here).