Bill and Melinda Gates

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. Bill and Melinda Gates, whose estimated net worth is $66 billion according to FORBES, have signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away the majority of their wealth in their lifetime, and have, through their foundation, granted more than $25 billion to their causes. Both say their philosophy of giving was passed to them from their parents, who supported local charities and participated in community projects when Bill and Melinda were children. In the United States, their giving seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources- have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Their investments in California have had a tremendous impact on California charter schools - strengthening statewide advocacy, the growth of high-quality charter high schools and establishing new methods for improving teacher effectiveness.

The Gates received the Legacy Award at the 20th Annual Charter Schools Conference. The Legacy Awards were created to celebrate those outstanding charter school supporters, funders, operators and elected officials who have been stewards of the movement over the last 20 years. Each Legacy Award winner represents the hope and dedication of two generations of California Charter School students.