Chance the Rapper joined forces with Google to support computer science studies at Chicago public schools.
A $1 million donation was given by the tech giant to Chance’s nonprofit, SocialWorks, which advocates for youth empowerment using art, education and civic engagement as tools, ABC Chicago reported Wednesday. Google also gave $500,000 to the schools’ Children First Fund for computer science programming, a field with an underwhelming number of Black professionals.
Chance paid an unexpected visit to students at Adam Clayton Powell Paideia Community Academy in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood and announced the donation Wednesday morning. Students had participated in a coding workshop with Google employees.
The three-time Grammy winner also took to Twitter and expressed his happiness over Google’s donations.
Google’s donation “sheds light on another pathway to success” for young people in Chicago, Justin Cunningham, executive director of SocialWorks, said in a statement published by The Huffington Post.
“While every student doesn’t need to become a computer scientist, understanding the basics empowers them to understand the world they live in,” Cunningham said. “The opportunity to help kids code to share their music, artwork, and distinct point of view is at the core of our mission and an experience we look forward to providing in classrooms across the city.”
Students, parents and administrators have had to deal with some hard realities within the district, beleaguered by shrinking enrollment, school closures and other concerns. In efforts to help the district, Chance the Rapper, a native of Chicago, donated $2.2 million to 20 of the city’s public schools in August, Huffington reported.
Google also wants to close the education gap. The company provided a $1 million grant to The Hidden Genius, a non-profit supporting the representation of young black men and boys in STEM, in November.
“The research says that 65 percent of grade school kids are going to be working in careers that don’t exist today,” said Justin Steele, Google.org, “and it’s important for those kids to learn the skills for tomorrow.”