Priscilla Chan, the wife of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, says her focus on giving to education stems from experiences she had as a volunteer tutor to disadvantaged youths and as a teacher in a private prep school, a pediatrician, and a mother, according to a San Jose Mercury News profile.
When she was a tutor, Ms. Chan saw a child who had been attacked and badly beaten in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. "I realized that my homework help was going to completely be futile if these kids couldn't be healthy, safe, and happy in the place that they lived," said Ms. Chan. "That really drives a lot of what I decided to do in my life and career."
The birth of the couple's daughter, Max, in late 2015 was also influential, she said.
In October, Ms. Chan announced that she and Mr. Zuckerberg were founding — and that she would lead — a private school, the Primary School, in East Palo Alto, Calif. The school would include health and other services for students and families to address the impact of poverty on children.
The couple has also made multiple other education-related gifts. In 2010, Mr. Zuckerberg gave $100 million to improve the Newark, N.J., school system, which was widely criticized.