San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was a champion for education

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One of Mayor Ed Lee's greatest legacies will be education.

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He and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff shared a common goal - improve student learning opportunities in our schools and create the next generation of Silicon Valley employees.

Benioff was first asked to invest in public education by Mayor Ed Lee. Then, in 2013, Benioff donated iPads and money to all 12 middle schools in San Francisco.

The mayor's deputy chief of staff for education and equity, Hydra Mendoza remembers how both Lee and Benioff instantly connected.

"When he talked about education, (Marc said), 'Let's focus on that. Tell me what it is you want to do,'" Mendoza recalled.

And so the Mayor's Middle Grades Leadership Initiative was created.

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Salesforce has funded the initiative every year since 2013, donating $7 million in 2017.

Today, the mayor's initiative has received more than $26 million in funding from Salesforce over that past five years. Middle Schools in San Francisco, like Aptos, now offer a solid STEM education.

STEM stands from Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Thanks to things like 3-D printers, students have become more tech savvy and engaged.

"I think that partnership between Ed Lee and Marc Benioff created a model that other corporations will follow," said Matt Chapman of Aptos Middle School.

Lee always believed that they money was never a donation but an investment in our children.

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