Hobson, Mellody and George Lucas
Renowned filmmaker George Lucas believes that education is the “foundation of our democracy and a stepping stone for youth to reach their full potential.” His wife, Mellody Hobson, experienced the life-changing power of education firsthand — growing up in a single-parent household in Chicago, earning admission to Princeton University, and rising to become the co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments. The couple’s philanthropic investments reflect that shared understanding. In 1991 Mr. Lucas founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which aims to transform K–12 education through project-based learning, social and emotional learning, comprehensive assessment, teacher development, integrated studies, and technology integration. Ms. Hobson is chair of After School Matters, a nonprofit that provides high-quality, out-of-school-time programs that have propelled low-income Chicago teens to achieve their full potential: 90 percent of students in its Freshmen On-Track program graduate high school — 11 points higher than their Illinois peers. Together, through the George Lucas Family Foundation, Ms. Hobson and Mr. Lucas also support a range of organizations that are making the world safer, healthier, and more vibrant, including childhood development and mentorship programs, medical institutions, gun control and environmental organizations, and museums and cultural institutions.