Max Levchin is, like Nikesh Arora, one of those larger than life figures, someone who’s always doing a ton of things and can’t possibly have time to sleep. He’s also an international student who came to the US as a refugee from the Ukraine, eventually studying computer science at the University of Illinois. Without the education and resources he discovered in Illinois, Levchin admits, “it is hard to imagine that I would have been able to go on and found and invest in companies such as PayPal, Yelp, and Affirm.”
When someone with as impressive of a résumé as Levchin speaks with passion about something, we listen. And recently, he spoke with great passion about the Illinois Student Access Bill. His home state is leading an important initiative to “allow undocumented students to apply for scholarships in 4 year public universities in Illinois. It would not cost the state additional money, only allow equal education opportunities for all.” These are not people who will disenfranchise American job seekers. These are students, like Levchin once was, who will raise the bar for talent globally. As he points out, this bill does not increase the financial burden to taxpayers and simply ensures that international students in the US school system will continue to have the tools they need to succeed. “We have already invested in these students before they get to college,” Levchin explains. “Why block their aspirations to graduate college and fully contribute to Illinois’ economy?”
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