Founded by Graham Holdings Company CEO Donald E. Graham; his wife, journalist Amanda Bennett; Democratic activist and philanthropist Henry R. Muñoz III; and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez; TheDream.US hopes to provide college scholarships to more than two thousand low-income high-achieving DREAMers — immigrant youth with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status — over the next decade. "Pershing Square's gift will allow four hundred more students to fulfill the dreams they share with every other child in our country," said Graham. "We believe it is the right thing to do to allow DREAMers to get a college degree — but more important, it makes our country stronger and our values firmer."
William A. Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management and co-founder of the Pershing Square Foundation, promised two years ago to donate his personal profit from a controversial $1 billion bet against Herbalife Ltd., a multi-level marketing firm which Ackman accused of running a pyramid scheme that targeted Hispanics, to a scholarship fund. The company, which is being investigated by U.S. regulators and the FBI, has denied Ackman's allegations.
"Working with Latino and other immigrant groups around the country opened my eyes to the plight of these young people," said Ackman, who signed the Giving Pledge in 2012. "I was fortunate to grow up in an environment where I didn’t have to worry about whether or not college would be possible for me. These scholarships will empower young immigrants to pursue their own dreams and goals, and I am delighted to partner with TheDream.US to expand the opportunity for more students."