Education has always been an area that my wife and I care deeply about. I was introduced to The BASIC Fund by my friend Jeff Edwards, who is on its board. I visited a local BASIC Fund school, and saw the incredible work that the are being done with students from low-income families.
Through my work in Silicon Valley, I have seen the advantage that a quality education can provide for children and families. High school and college education are key to a better life with more options. While we want public education to be the answer for all, it currently does not work for many who live in low-income areas. Even as the system is being repaired, we can do something to help, now. The BASIC Fund intervenes by giving parents immediate options to choose the school that is right for their children, right here in the Bay Area.
During my school visit at Palo Alto’s St. Elizabeth Seton, I saw children learning, playing and thriving. It is remarkable that over 19,000 students have been helped by this program. We decided to support The BASIC Fund, and each day we know that there are kids in schools around the Bay Area being given this chance. These kids are learning in a safe environment and will graduate from high school at a rate of 98%, then go on to college at a rate of 92%. We know we are making a true difference in their lives and in their families lives. As a Bay Area citizen, I feel that it is important that our community produces productive members of society. I like to think that in the near future, BASIC Fund students can be part of the workforce in businesses I have helped launch, and that all of our lives are better because of the education they have received.
Entrepreneur Jerry Yang co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in 1995 and served on the Board of Directors until January 2012. Mr. Yang also served as a member of the executive management team. While at Yahoo he led a number of initiatives, including two of the biggest investments in the internet: Yahoo Japan and Alibaba Group. Yang holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. He is widely recognized as a visionary and pioneer in the internet technology sector, and was named one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35 by the MIT Technology Review in 1999.
Mr. Yang served as a director of Yahoo Japan Corporation (TSE:4689) and Alibaba Group until January 2012; and a director of Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) from July 2000 to November 2012.
Mr. Yang currently works with and invests in technology entrepreneurs through AME Cloud Ventures, his innovation investment firm. Mr. Yang also serves as a director on the boards of Workday Inc., Lenovo Group, and Alibaba Group.
Mr. Yang and his wife, Akiko Yamazaki, are well known philanthropists who focus on higher education, conservation and the arts. Mr. Yang serves as a Director of Dunhuang Foundation (USA), and a Director for Monterey Peninsula Foundation. He served on Stanford University's Board of Trustees from 2005 through 2015, including being a Vice Chair of the Board. Mr. Yang is a member of the Committee of 100, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.