The Avant! Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization which was founded in 1997 by Gerald C. Hsu, then the Chairman of the Board, President & CEO of Avant! Corporation. He believed that it was important to educate and give back to the communities in which we live. In 1998, the Foundation received a gift of $1 million from the Corporation, they also provided generous support in the way of programmatic and administrative funding, as well as personnel. Over the years that followed the Foundation received an additional donation of $6.8 million. The Foundation was passionately and diligently led for 11 years by the Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Lehane. Upon his passing in April 2008, the Program/Operations Officer and his mentee, Ms. Kamne M. Thomas, accepted the Executive Director position, continuing the work they had begun. The Foundation's signature program was its "adoption" of 40 second grade students in East San Jose, known as the STAR KIDZ: Scholarships Through Avant! Resources. The Foundation will substantially fund their college education, and provides tutoring, mentoring and extracurricular enrichment. The program has been widely praised; a San Jose Mercury News editorial called it "a program to watch in the future."