Careers

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan want to make public service possible for low-income students

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Getty Images
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan want to use their wealth to increase opportunities for the next generation.

According to the Boston Globe, Zuckerberg and Chan are granting Harvard University $12.1 million to encourage low-income undergraduate students to pursue jobs in public service. As part of the grant, the school's Stride scholarship program for public service will be renamed after Chan, who participated in the program and is a 2007 graduate of the university.

Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg
Adam Berry | Getty Images
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg

"As a student on financial aid, it was Harvard's Stride program that made it financially feasible for me to choose service over traditional work study," Chan said in a statement. "It's my hope this gift will give many more students the ability to choose service."

The couple's grant, funded through the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, will provide financial support for up to 2,300 students over the next 15 years. In his Harvard commencement speech earlier this year, Zuckerberg spoke about the impact financial freedom can have on career choices.

"If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, if I didn't know I'd be fine if Facebook didn't work out, I wouldn't be standing here today," said Zuckerberg, whose father was a dentist.

In an interview with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Zuckerbergclaimed that he's actually more anxious about not changing the world for the better than he is about potentially mismanaging his behemoth company.

"I am much more motivated by making sure we have the biggest impact on the world than by building a business or making sure we don't fail," he said.

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