Watch: How Bill Gates Foundation is Helping Low Performing Schools in the US
Just two days ago, Forbes wrote an article titled, “America’s Top Givers: The 50 Philanthropists that Gave the Most.” The top 5 on the list are: Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett, followed by Bill and Melinda Gates, Michael Bloomberg, the Walton family and George Soros round out the top five. From the article, America’s 50 most generous philanthropists gave out $14.1 billion in 2018, up from $12.6 billion in 2017 and $12.2 billion in 2016. Yes, even though our site is about technology startups, in the end it all comes down to using technology to benefit world’s needs, especially the neediest people in society.
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, doesn’t need any introduction. After upending IBM, his company was influential in getting personal computers to every home. The company he founded has changed the way we live. He’s known around the world as one of the greatest technology of our time and the world’s richest person. What many people may not know about him is his philanthropic work. He led Microsoft since inception until January 2000 when Gates steps down as Microsoft CEO. On February 4, 2014, Gates steps down as chairman to take on a new role in the company as technology advisor to the new CEO. Through his tenure at Microsoft in the 1990s, Gates was criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive.
Nevertheless, when Gates left the day-to-day operations at Microsoft, Gates decided to pursue a number of philanthropic endeavors. He and his wife started Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and donated large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs. He also co-founded The Giving Pledge with Warren Buffett in 2009, whereby they and other billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.
Gates’ philanthropy works are focused more healthcare, education, empowering people and eradication of diseases in developing countries, including countries in Africa and Asia. However, not many people know about his work here at home in United States. Just this morning, Gates talked about one of his latest project on Twitter. “US education may be the hardest issue our foundation works on. A recent visit to The Howard School in Chattanooga, Tennessee reminded me why it’s also one of the most inspiring,” Gates tweeted.
As part of effort, Gates Foundation is helping Howard School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to address some of the very tough challenges the school faced. On GatesNotes website, Gates said: “Melinda and I often say that of all the issues our foundation works on, education may be the hardest. It also may be the most inspiring. During my visit to The Howard School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I had a powerful reminder of why this is.”
“Howard faces some very tough challenges: It ranks among the bottom 5 percent of high schools in Tennessee, with test scores and graduation rates well below state averages. More than 90 percent of its students, most of them African American and Latino, live in poverty. Less than 15 percent of Howard’s graduates go on to earn a college degree or post-secondary certificate,” Gates added.