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Oakland Educational Nonprofit Receives Surprise $3M Donation From MacKenzie Scott

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – A nonprofit that is helping students in Oakland received a huge donation they never saw coming.

Lakisha Young, founder of Oakland Reach, said she found the $3 million surprise in her email inbox.

"All of a sudden, a few weeks ago, we get the email, and I was like, *screaming*" Young told KPIX 5.

Young started the community based nonprofit five years ago to help kids learn in underserved communities. Oakland Reach became a critical link to student learning during the pandemic with its virtual learning hubs, serving close to 950 students.

"Thanks to this program my little sister got to know more English and speaks English in the house because of the program," said a program participant.

The surprise $3 million donor, MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Scott promised to give away half of the fortune in Amazon stock she received in her divorce settlement.

She has given close to $8.5 billion so far.

Toni Rochelle has four Children in the hub and became a power parent liaison.

"Black and Brown kids have been left behind for so many years, so many times, and now it's time for something to be different when it comes to our community. So for me I'm all about community, I'm all about these babies. My babies are your babies your babies are my babies," Rochelle said.

When Young was asked what she would do if she ever saw Scott in person, she said, "I would run after her and chase her and try to hug her down like a crazy woman."

"We just really appreciate the way she is doing it and the amount of trust she is putting in organizations to do the work that they need to do," Young went on to say.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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