The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Essay

1751 Words Jul 29th, 2008 8 Pages
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was established in 2000 by its namesake, Bill Gates, and his wife Melinda. The couple created the foundation “to help reduce inequities in the United States and around the world.”1 It is headquartered in Seattle, Washing and is co-chaired by Bill, Melinda and William Gates Sr. Since its founding the foundation has accrued an incredible $31.9 billion and has a net worth of almost $50 billion. With such spending power, the foundation has been able to make great progress, particularly in the areas of global health. It has also made a sincere effort to improve many public school systems in the US.

The foundation is organized much like a corporation, with a hierarchy that contains several tiers of
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libraries, and Special Initiatives. The education project has three specific goals that the foundation decided were the most important to the nation. Their first goal is to “ensure all students graduate and are prepared for college and work.” This means providing finance and guidance to school systems that need it the most by rebuilding their curricula, giving adequate student support and generally improving the quality of education. The second goal is to provide underprivileged students access to higher education by providing scholarships and college counseling. The third goal is specific to Washington State early childhood development programs, and is similar to their first initiative in that they are attempting to improve the school systems for young children.

One tenet of the Gates Foundation is to use technology in order to lessen the “digital divide” between those who have access to information technology and those who do not. They assert that “it has become virtually impossible for Americans to succeed without computers and the Internet, and millions of people in the United States, most of them low-income and disadvantaged individuals, rely on public libraries for their primary access to this essential technology.”4 Since 1997 the foundation has dedicated itself to bridging the digital divide and has brought internet access to thousands of

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