Three Hispanic 10th graders from Lake View High School —Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros, and Annelisse Betancourt — combined their voices to thank the Grammy Award-winner for his generous donation, which was announced last week at Westcott Elementary School. Chano shared the gift after what he said was an “unsuccessful” meeting with state governor Bruce Rauner. The students explain that the 23-year-old’s contribution is about more than money.
“[W]e as Chicago Public School students would like to thank you for the supportive donation to our schools,” the letter says. “As we all know, CPS has been struggling financially, and your donation has really given us a push to get to where we need to be and possibly motivate others to give back to the community as well. This is only one of the many things that you have done to improve our Chicago.”
The students applaud Chance for being “one of the few that really give back” to the Windy City and cites a campaign from 2014 where he and his brother, Taylor Bennett, along with many community outreach programs helped Chicago go 42 hours without a reported shooting.
“You’re more than just an artist to us, you are a way of life,” the students continue. “You make music that we can relate to on many levels, because you know what living in Chicago is like, and you want to make changes in the city. We may not be from the same side but we come from the same city. We just want to thank you for not forgetting where you came from and helping the city of Chicago in more ways than just being an inspirational rapper. You’re using your fame for good and not just to look good. You gave $1 million dollars of your personal money to Chicago schools and that’s something no one has done for us.”
Chance thanked the students on Twitter, promising that the “word has only just started” after releasing his critically-acclaimed Coloring Book mixtape, which was named Album of the Year and gave Chance the MC of the Year title in HipHopDX’s Year End Awards.
I appreciate you guys, and you'll be happy to know the work has only just started. Huge things to come over the next 2weeks. https://t.co/tplZMMW9DS
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) March 15, 2017
The donation was initially met with praise from Michelle Obama and many in the Hip Hop community. But Chance received criticism from the Chicago Sun-Times, who questioned if he could be celebrated with allegations that he has problems with his girlfriend over the care of their daughter. Chance brushed off the story and shared pictures with his family to ensure his fans that everything was fine.
Read the entire letter from Chicago Public School students to Chance The Rapper here.