How A Former Google Exec And His Wife Support Education in the Bay Area

A few years ago, Alan Eustace, already a senior vice president at Google, reached even greater heights—literally. The daring computer engineer ascended in a balloon to the stratosphere and jumped from more than 135,000 feet. He set a still-unbroken world record for highest and longest free fall. There's even a forthcoming documentary about the 14-minute plunge.

Back at sea level, Eustace's wife, Kathy Kwan, coped with his stratospheric aspirations by expanding the couple's philanthropic activities in the Bay Area. In 2015, grantmaking via the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation reached nearly $5 million in the educational and safety net sectors.  This includes pushing for educational equity, college access, job skills for the underprivileged and leadership and professional development for college students. Geographically, the couple focuses on the mid-Peninsula of the Bay area.

Kathy serves as president of the foundation and tells me that, for the most part, she personally curates the foundation's portfolio of nonprofits. This is important to know, as the foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. She also utilizes local community foundations to make introductions and manage programs.  Philanthropic Ventures Foundation helped the couple establish partnerships with Sequoia High School and JobTrain, which provides job training and placement services in Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation manages the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation Scholarship for disadvantaged high school and college students.

Since its inception in 2006, the foundation has made multi-year grants to several organizations, including Aim High, which provides a free summer camp for youth; Second Harvest Food Bank; SF State; UC Berkeley; and St. Francis Center, which runs educational programming and helps the working poor in the Redwood City area. Other grantees include schools in the Redwood City, Sequoia Union High, and Menlo Park School Districts.

Kathy received three degrees from UC Berkeley and is a trustee of her alma mater. Some of the couple's work at the school involves the Center for Health Leadership in UC Berkeley's School of Public Health and programming in Equity and Inclusion. Outside the Bay Area, Eustace's alma mater, University of Central Florida has received steady funding. A recent $350,000 grant continues to support UCF's computer programming team.

Expect this locally focused couple to continue to support the Bay Area, particularly in education. For a complete overview of this funder's work, read our profile and guide below.

Related: Alan Eustace

Related: Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation: Bay Area Grants