In the mid 90’s, Bill Gates sent his father a news article with a note reading, “Dad, maybe we can do something about this.” The article highlighted the particular turmoil of the developing world, and from that inspiration, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was born. Founded in 1997, and also known as the Gates Foundation, the organization now operates in more than 100 countries, internationally, and has granted over $41 billion in its lifetime. The foundation has eight offices around the globe, including Johannesburg, Delhi, Beijing, and its headquarters in Seattle, Washington.
Globally, the Gates Foundation’s primary focus is on public health and development, with resources devoted to, among other things, the eradication of malaria and polio, and slowing the spread of HIV. In the US, the foundation is dedicated to providing access to education, libraries, the internet, and emergency relief, particularly for those with the fewest resources.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has named HSF the sole administrator of The Gates Scholarship® (TGS). The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, full scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors. Starting in 2018, the scholarship will be awarded to 300 top student leaders each year, with the goal of promoting the Gates Scholars’ academic excellence, through college graduation, and ensuring they have the support and resources they need, to reach their full potential.
Other Gates Foundation partnerships intended to support education in the US, include funding for Complete College America, which works to close attainment gaps and ensure more Americans obtain college degrees or career certificates, and for Edcamp Foundation, which helps teachers organize “unconferences” to collaboratively share best practices and to hone their craft.