For more than four decades later, the Kennedy-King Memorial College Scholarship Fund, started by Walnut Creek attorney Ed Regalia, has helped send more than 600 Contra Costa community college students to four-year universities, raising more than $3.5 million.
It sent Mark Jackson '94 to San Francisco State University, and then to UC Hastings College of the Law.
Now an Alameda County deputy district attorney, Jackson, who is black, received an undergraduate scholarship in 1988 as a Contra Costa College undergraduate, and it allowed him to finish his degree at San Francisco State. He won the scholarship again in 1991 as he tackled his law degree at UC in San Francisco.
As a college student, Jackson struggled to earn enough money to attend college.
"The scholarship was very helpful in enabling me, in conjunction with working two jobs and with my family's help, in graduating college without any student loan debt," Jackson said. "These students need every dollar they can get from this program."
Jackson, now 45, has since served on the scholarship's board and started a pre-law program at Contra Costa College.
Read the full tribute to Ed Regalia in the Contra Costa Times here.