Chance The Rapper non-profit organization SocialWorks has connected with Google to bring computer science education to Chicago Public Schools. SocialWorks was started last year by Chance The Rapper, Justin Cunningham and Essence Smith CPS Alumni to support Chicago Public Schools arts programs. Google announced a $1 million grant to SocialWorks during a student event at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Paideia Academy on December 6th. $500,000 was also granted directly to Chicago Public Schools–the first school district in the country to mandate Computer Science education for every student–through CPS’ CS4All initiative.
Chance The Rapper surprised students with an appearance during an assembly that also featured remarks from Cunningham, Alphabet Senior Vice President of Corporate Development David Drummond music and industry veteran and philanthropist Steve Stoute Music was provided by 92’s DJ Pharris and food came from Nando’s the casual dining chain known for its history of supporting public schools and non-profits when they open new restaurants. At the end of the event students received new backpacks from STATE and gear imprinted with the word “CODER.”
Justin Steele, who is the Principal for Google.org community work remarked on the event:
“We’re honored to support SocialWorks’ mission to help underrepresented students in Chicago reach their full potential, as well as Chicago Public Schools’ efforts to turn computer science into a pathway for creative expression. There’s so much talent and creativity in the communities that these schools serve—and Chance The Rapper embodies what can happen when that creativity is unleashed. With exposure to computer science, students can use technology to turn their creative passions—whether that’s art, writing, music or something else—into something bigger.”
Steve Stoute, who is a supporter of SocialWorks said this:
“Chance the Rapper has never forgotten about his neighborhood and the people that got him where he is today, and SocialWorks is an extension of that. SocialWorks and Google.org are natural allies in their mission to affect change. I’m excited to see what these teams will do to impact the lives of Chicago Public School students and the message it will send across industries about our responsibility to support the very neighborhoods that supported our dreams.”