Jun 29, 2017 - Technology

Zuckerberg philanthropy behind new scholarships for DREAMers

Jeff Chiu / AP

Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropic arm is backing more than a hundred four-year scholarships to undocumented students in the San Francisco Bay Area who came to America when they were young.

The details: An outside group, TheDream.US, will distribute the $3.4 million worth of scholarships to the students. Some of the money comes from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which the Facebook founder created with his wife, physician Priscilla Chan.

It's complicated: These particular scholarships are new, but the money isn't. The funding was actually given to TheDream.US in 2015 by an organization called Startup:Education that was one of Zuckerberg's early stabs at philanthropy. It was closed last year — but CZI has inherited its programs.

Why does that matter? It's a small sign of how complicated Zuckerberg's philanthropic world is getting, thanks to the ambitious goals he and Chan have articulated for education, healthcare and other issues.

Why we care: This gift shows how Silicon Valley's philanthropy can butt up against contentious political debates at a time when the industry's work is in the political spotlight.

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