Girl Scouts say $1.8M gift from Amazon’s Mackenzie Scott will fund Newark STEM program – NJ.com - eComEmpireStore + Brought to You By: Robert Villapane Ramos


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Girl Scouts say $1.8M gift from Amazon’s Mackenzie Scott will fund Newark STEM program – NJ.com

MacKenzie Scott, the novelist, billionaire philanthropist and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, donated $1.8 million to the Girl Scouts Hearts of New Jersey regional council, which will be used to fund a STEM mobile classroom and a related facility in Newark. (Associated Press/Evan Agostini)Evan Agostini/Invision/APMacKenzie Scott, the novelist, billionaire philanthropist and former wife […]



MacKenzie Scott, the novelist, billionaire philanthropist and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, donated $1.8 million to the Girl Scouts Hearts of New Jersey regional council, which will be used to fund a STEM mobile classroom and a related facility in Newark. (Associated Press/Evan Agostini)Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
MacKenzie Scott, the novelist, billionaire philanthropist and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has made a $1.8 million donation to be used for a STEM mobile classroom and a related building in Newark, the Girl Scouts announced Tuesday.
Scott’s gift will help fund an initiative involving the Newark Board of Education and the Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson, said Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, a regional council for Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Somerset, Union, Warren and Middlesex counties.
The initiative includes creation of a “state-of-the-art” building in Newark for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction and a mobile STEM classroom that will serve the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey’s 7-county area, said the scout council.
“We are truly grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this generous, transformational gift that will be used to uplift so many girls in our local communities,” said the council’s chief executive officer Natasha Hemmings. “This unprecedented donation will support our Council’s exceptional girls’ leadership development initiatives, with a particular focus on traditionally underserved communities, and will help us to address the many demands we face as we strive to meet the challenges of our growing organization.”
Ericsson and Newark Public Schools did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the announcement. Mackenzie Scott Philanthropy did not immediately return a message Tuesday.
Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey’s $1.8 million gift was among 29 donations to individual scout councils selected by Scott nationwide, totaling $84.5 million.
Girl Scouts of the USA’s chief executive officer, Sofia Chang, said in the announcement that the collective gift was “a great accelerator for our ongoing efforts to help girls cultivate the skills and connections to lead in their own communities and globally.”
Scott attended Princeton University and had already donated millions to Garden State causes, including a $10 million gift to the United Way of Northern New Jersey in 2020.
According to Forbes, Scott is worth more than $30 billion, almost all of it in Amazon stock. She was closely involved with the online retailer’s early development. She and Bazos divorced in 2019 after 25 years of marriage.
A former student of Toni Morrison at Princeton, Scott’s 2005 debut novel The Testing of Luther Albright — available on Amazon — won an American Book Award.
The recent donation from Scott is evocative of another gift by a tech billionaire intended to help Newark students, a $100 million gift by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2011.
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Steve Strunsky may be reached at sstrunsky@njadvancemedia.com
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