The Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, a scholarship dedicated to helping students seeking STEM degrees, recently received significant donations from Steve Ballmer and Microsoft. Ballmer, who was Microsoft CEO for 14 years, donated $11 million dollars to the scholarship, while Microsoft chipped in $10 million dollars.
Since its inception, WSOS has sent 5,500 scholarships to STEM students, and with the massive funding coming from Ballmer and Microsoft this year, the organization plans to put a total of 13,000 STEM students through college by 2021. So far, WSOS has done an excellent job of offering up excellent opportunities to brilliant students. 62% of these students have been female, 57% have been the first member of their family that managed to attend college, and over half identified themselves as students of color.
This investment into the future of science and technology by Microsoft and Ballmer is sure to pay dividends, elevating intelligent students with potential to universities that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to enter. With college as expensive as it is in America, many students that have the ability to change the world are denied the education that would make that change possible. The WSOS help make sure that students like that get the education they deserve.
Further reading: Microsoft, Steve Ballmer