Salesforce donates $17M to Oakland, San Francisco schools

San Francisco and Oakland schools were both the beneficiaries of a $17.2 million donation from Salesforce.

At Presidio Middle School students were already taking advantage of the most visible portion of their latest gift from Salesforce, a new playground. 

"It's a big upgrade from last year, when it was just blacktop and concrete," said 8th grader Evan Kwon.

Salesforce donated $8.5 million to San Francisco schools, and $8.7 million to Oakland schools.

The money also being spent inside those schools as well, with an emphasis on recruiting and retaining top-notch educators and funding math and computer sciences. 

"I have so many friends that are taking computer science because computer science is such a big class right now," said Mayen Thorsen. "And I don't think it would be as big as it is right now, with all the Chrome books we have now. We're so lucky to have this happen to us."

Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff has adopted Presidio Middle School encouraging his company's officers to do the same thing in their communities saying he's already seeing a return on his investment in the future. 

"A surge of kids who are installed enrolled in STEM and computer science. More young women and students of color higher attendance rates, higher math scores." 

San Francisco's Mayor London Breed called on those students to excel."We're going to need the next generation to not only take over the world and take these amazing positions, but we're also going to need you to save our planet," she said. 

Oakland's superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell said the money means more students can be educated for the jobs of the future. 

"Before this partnership, we had about 82 students taking computer science in about two schools, " she said. "Now we have computer science classes that are at a high quality at all of our middle schools and serving a little under 1,750 students."
Oakland's mayor was on hand and called on other Bay Area companies to step up. 

"I challenge every company to do what Salesforce has done, and that is put your money where your mouth is, and put your money where your love is," said Mayor Libby Schaaf.

Benioff stressed that even with these donations this is still just the beginning of what he plans on doing to help Presidio Middle, San Francisco, and Oakland Schools.

He says he's in it for the long haul.