News concerning celebrities is often filled with tales of dramatic actions that leave the public with a lot of questions. Sometimes, however, fans can be surprised in more positive ways. Such is the case of Chicago’s own Chancellor Bennett, a.k.a. Chance the Rapper, who recently hit the news again after raising $2.2 M for public schools in his state through his non-profit organization, SocialWorks.
At only 24, the rapper realizes the inherent need to invest in the community through the funding of public schools, as he noted in his speech at the Harold Washington Cultural Center. The rapper has also made efforts in his donations towards the educational system before with an initial donation pledge of $1M in March and the provision of backpacks filled with school supplies for 30,000 school-going children in Chicago. With these funds, the objective is to strengthen the arts programs in these schools, encourage opportunities for enrichment, to hold the institutions accountable for the maintenance of standards of the programs, and to provide the necessary materials for the success of the students.
Through this donation, the 20 schools set to benefit from the program will receive up to $100,000 over three years. The rapper and his SocialWorks organization will continue to fund these schools under the New Chance Arts and Literature Fund that will become effective in the 2017-2018 academic year. The funds mainly target schools that, while struggling due to cuts, have shown commitment to their arts programs. Surprisingly, the schools that are set to benefit from this funding did not initially know that they were picked to be among the institutions that will benefit from the program. A pleasant surprise for the recipients, the principals at these schools responded to this news positively, vowing to serve these programs as appropriate for the time they would run.
During the announcement, Chance echoed Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple, by wearing faded jeans paired with a black turtleneck, Steve’s signature attire. During his announcement, he also mentioned the launch of the Twilight Awards in which the academic fraternity, including teachers, principals, parents, and students, will be celebrated for their achievements. He expressed his concerns for Chicago and how the current generation is affected by the status quo, displaying an awareness of his surroundings and a willingness to be part of the change. The philanthropic rapper was recognized in June at the BET Awards for his donation to Chicago schools earlier this year, as well as for his involvement in other socially-relevant projects.