It's the first of its kind across the nation — a scholarship program funded completely by excise marijuana tax and its currently accepting applications.
Any Pueblo city or county student can apply for the scholarship as long as they're planning to attend a college in Pueblo.
The marijuana tax money, at $25,000, will be divided between 25 chosen students who fit the criteria. In addition to living in Pueblo and attending a Pueblo college, applicants must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and perform 40 hours of community service to a non-profit agency.
Each scholarship is for $1,000 per recipient.
County commissioners teamed up with Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation which helped get the program started a year earlier than anticipated.
County Commissioner Buffie McFadyen says using marijuana tax money for education and investing in the community's youth is the best use of this money.
"Families have had it hard here in Pueblo. We're excited to be part of the solution, to reduce debt on students, to make sure they can afford college and also bring a lot of life to our own community," she said.
Executive Director of Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation Beverly agrees.
"We just see such a great need in our community and we can never scholarship as many students as we would like to. So this money is going to have a huge impact on the number of students that we can help in affording college."
McFadyen says she knows first hand how it's tough putting kids through college.
"As a mom myself with two school age children we all know the pressure of making sure there's enough money in a family budget to send our children to school. This reinvestment in our community, this wise use of money, we couldn't do anything better," said McFadyen.
Duran says these funds are just the start and they're expecting the program to continue growing over the next few years.
"We're looking at approximately $700,000 next year. We're also applying for a grant so if that comes into play I think we're going to have some really good funds. Maybe a little over a million dollars in years to come."
Applicants have until the end of the month to apply. You can do so online at phef.net.