Through an array of philanthropic initiatives, Philadelphia-bred rapper and activist Meek Mill has displayed his dedication to empowering youth from his hometown, and he’s teaming up with entertainment mogul Kevin Hart and businessman Michael Rubin to drive his efforts forward. According to the Philly Voice, the trio is donating $15 million to ensure children from underserved communities have access to quality education.
The academic achievement gap is a pressing issue plaguing schools across the country, exacerbated by socioeconomic inequities. Research shows that in Philadelphia, 60 percent of children attend low-performing schools and Black and Latino children are overrepresented within these institutions.
Low-income neighborhoods like North and West Philadelphia have fewer high-ranking schools than affluent communities. Aware of the disparities, Meek—whose real name is Robert Rihmeek Williams—Hart and Rubin wanted to step up and change the narrative. The $15 million endowment will be distributed amongst 110 Philadelphia-based parochial and private schools to cover the tuition costs for the 2022-23 academic year for underprivileged scholars.
This isn’t the first time the Philly natives have stepped up to support their community in a major way. Last month Williams and Rubin teamed up with fellow leaders from the REFORM Alliance to treat Philadelphia youth, who have been significantly impacted by parental incarceration, to a 76ers game.
“I am one of those kids, so I know what it means to be in those types of situations,” Williams said in a statement. “I ain’t really have anyone to change my life at a young age. I’m just one of the lucky ones. If I could help one person, they ask me about helping a million people at Reform, but if I could help one person, that’s enough for me.”
In 2020, they unveiled a $2 million scholarship fund to assist over 1,000 students who live in low-income households. Williams has also organized several gift and school supplies giveaways. Hart donated $250,000 to the School District of Philadelphia in an effort to address the digital divide and has also created scholarship funds for students in need.