Steve Jobs’s Widow Debuts on Philanthropic Stage
Marlene Castro knew the tall blonde woman only as Laurene, her mentor. They met every few weeks in a rough Silicon Valley neighborhood the year that Ms. Castro was applying to college, and they e-mailed often, bonding over conversations about Ms. Castro’s difficult childhood. Without Laurene’s help, Ms. Castro said, she might not have become the first person in her family to graduate from college.
It was only later, when she was a freshman at University of California, Berkeley, that Ms. Castro read a news article and realized that Laurene was the wife of Apple’s co-founder, Steven P. Jobs. ...
Ms. Powell Jobs has tiptoed into the public sphere, pushing her agenda in education as well as global conservation, nutrition and immigration policy. ... [She] has a net worth estimated at $11.5 billion, according to Bloomberg, most of it in shares of the Walt Disney Company. ...
Ms. Powell Jobs has become a leader in pushing for decade-old legislation known as the Dream Act, a measure that would provide legal status for immigrants who arrived in the country as young children. Last December, she enlisted the Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim to make a documentary about immigration. The two had met through their work in education; Mr. Guggenheim’s most recent film, “Waiting for Superman,” examined the crisis in America’s public schools.
“Laurene asked me how much time I needed to make a movie, and I told her about a year and a half,” Mr. Guggenheim said. “But she said that she needed something done in three months because the legislation was coming up for a vote.”
So instead of a creating a big feature with a broad theatrical release, Ms. Powell Jobs commissioned a 30-minute film, “The Dream Is Now,” which is viewable online and being shown at college campuses across the country. Last month, Ms. Powell Jobs and Mr. Guggenheim traveled to Washington with several young immigrants and their families who were featured in the film; the purpose of the trip was to screen the documentary for a group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
I find it admirable that Laurene Powell Jobs is putting her riches to use helping people that need assistance. It would be so much easier to pass the time shopping or sleeping on a Maui beach; the fact that she's trying to improve lives says a lot about her values and character.