Pharrell Williams is providing some high school graduates with a special opportunity. While giving a commencement speech at a graduation ceremony for Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academies I and II, the Grammy Award-winning producer promised internships to all 114 students in the graduating class.
“So let me be clear: every member of the 2019 graduating class is guaranteed an internship waiting for them — you — next summer,” he announced.
He added, “The world is watching Harlem, but this Renaissance will be different. And believe it or not, with respect, it’s gonna actually be better. And the reason why is because the new Harlem Renaissance has education at its core.”
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Great! – RP @uptowngrandcentral – “So let me be clear: Every member of the 2019 graduating class is guaranteed an internship waiting for them next summer,” commencement speaker @Pharrell Williams told the graduates of Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy @harlemchildrenszone this past Wednesday. … All 114 students have received acceptance letters to colleges and universities across the country. “It’s not every day folks see a school of black and brown children who have closed the achievement gap,” said HCZ CEO Anne Williams-Isom @msannehcz. … #Harlem #EastHarlem #ElBarrio #125thStreet #HarlemChildrensZone #Pharrell #Graduation #Happy
According to BuzzFeed, Pharrell partnerned with the charter schools to create an internship program that can facilitate career inroads and connections for Harlem students. Harlem Children’s Zone CEO Anne Williams-Isom hopes the program will help to end generational poverty.
“When we have somebody who is willing to say something as important as ‘I will guarantee you a high-quality internship once you finish your freshman year of college,’ we thought that that was very valuable, and we’re very excited about it,” she told BuzzFeed.
Promise Academy I valedictorian Jada Warmington also gave insight on the direct effect of Pharrell’s pledge.
“When he guaranteed my entire class with an internship, I knew that this a stepping-stone into something great,” she said. “I just knew that next summer was gonna be the summer for me, because I was a little bit worried about going into college and not knowing what’s next, like how am I gonna prepare for internships for the fall and summer, especially the really competitive ones.”
Every member of the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academies I and II graduating classes have been accepted into colleges and universities. Their internships, if they choose to participate, will begin in 2020.