Chicago: Facebook founder and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg has joined the group of philanthropic billionaires by announcing $100 million grant to a troubled public school system in New Jersey.
Zuckerberg, a 26-year-old billionaire, announced the creation of Startup: Education Foundation aimed at helping schools throughout America.
“I’ve committed to starting the Startup: Education foundation, whose first project will be a $100 million challenge grant to Newark’s public school district,” he said.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities in my life, and a lot of that comes from having gone to really good schools,” he told Oprah on the ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ accompanied by Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who committed themselves to work for the city’s schools and to turn them in a national model of excellence.
Oprah also took her camera into Zuckerberg’s Palo Alto, California, home which he shares with girlfriend Priscilla Chan. He was shown kissing his girlfriend Chan and learning Chinese. Zuckerberg announced that Chan and he were going to vacation in China at the end of the year.
Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking site with about 500 million users. Valued at an estimated $23 billion, Facebook derives much of its revenues from online ads.
Coincidentally, the movie on Zuckerberg’s life ‘The Social Network’ premiers today at the New York Film Festival and it depicts the founder’s life story about going to Harvard and dropping out.
“It’s a movie. It’s fun,” Zuckerberg told Oprah.
“I mean a lot of it is fiction, but even the filmmakers will say that they’re trying to build a good story. You know, I’m going to promise you this is my life so I know it’s not that dramatic,” he added.
“The last six years have been a lot of coding and focus and hard work, but maybe it would be fun to remember it as partying and all this crazy drama,” Zuckerberg added.
However, on the show, Oprah stated that Zuckerberg had initially considered making his donation anonymously.
“You’re such a shy person and you’ve been talking about this for months and months and months,” she said.
“You wanted to remain anonymous and we talked you into coming on here.”
She also said that Facebook’s CEO had wanted to appear on her show earlier in September, but that her season had not yet started.