Pharrell Williams surprised the 2019 graduating students at Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy with a guaranteed internship after their first year of college.
He made the announcement during his commencement speech at the graduation last week.
The Academy in Harlem, New York, is a charter school that offers free high-quality education kindergarten through 12th grade for its 2,000 students, all of whom gained admission to the school through lottery or waiting lists.
The school focuses on establishing healthy lifelong habits for young people, with freshly made breakfasts and lunches everyday, access to medical services and longer days and school years to allow students to really learn their subjects.
Williams has been working with the school to create an internship program to give students access to connections in fields they would not get otherwise.
The charter school’s goal is to make sure all students are equipped to graduate from college, creating opportunities for them to end generational poverty in the area.
The 13-time Grammy-winning singer-producer said to the students: “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.”