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Songstress Ciara and her husband NFL player Russell Wilson are using education as a vessel to empower youth in Washington. According to Billboard, the Wilsons have funded the creation of a charter school.

The pair donated $1.75 million through their nonprofit organization Why Not You Foundation—which is centered on advancing children’s education and health initiatives and eradicating poverty—towards the rebranding of a program dubbed Cascade Midway Academy. The high school was slated to open its doors early this year, but the school’s launch was postponed due to the global pandemic. The school’s founders Scott Canfield and Garth Reeves connected with the Wilsons and were provided with financial support. In honor of Ciara and Russell’s act of generosity, the name of the school has been changed to Why Not You Academy. The tuition-free, public charter high school was launched to eliminate socio-economic barriers that stand in the way of access to high-quality education. The institution will take a tailored approach towards meeting the educational needs of its students, merging classroom instruction with interactive experiences.

“We’ve always held the belief that life’s successes start with a good education, but recognize that access isn’t always created equally for all,” the Wilsons said in a statement. “The Why Not You Foundation was created with the concept of empowering youth to lead with a why not you attitude and that’s why it was important for our foundation to partner with Scott, Garth, and Cascade Public Schools to help open doors for kids from less fortunate backgrounds. This school is a longtime dream of ours and it was important for us to find a way to combine traditional classroom learning with community and mentorship-based activities, in order to prepare kids for the real world. Why Not You is based on the idea that it can start with one and our hope is that this school will be the first of many.” Why Not You Academy is slated to open during the Fall of 2021.

This is one of many philanthropic efforts that Ciara and Russell have led this year. The couple donated one million meals to help people battling food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


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