Actor Will Smith is tapping into the power of literature to uplift youth. According to Variety, the Will Book Club has teamed up with the Creative Artists Agency Foundation to create a mentorship program.
Launched in 2021, following his New York Times best-selling memoir Will, the book club was created to cultivate community by fostering conversations around topics featured in Smith’s story. The mentorship initiative, dubbed Ready Set, is collaboratively being led by the CAA and the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith 26 years ago that has a mission rooted in empowering individuals from underrepresented groups and transforming underserved communities.
Through the program, young adults will have the opportunity to participate in reading groups and reflect on the lessons garnered from the book. They will also interact with Smith through various digital conversations and events. Among the topics that will be discussed are the power of authenticity and the elements of building a foundation for success.
“We are so excited to be partnering with the Ready Set Read Initiative,” Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation President and CEO Jana Babatunde-Bey said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “In a short time, they have made a huge effort in galvanizing young adults to stand up and make a difference in their community through tutoring and mentorship, and we look forward to expanding the impact of the WBC through the partnership.”
Deborah Marcus, an executive at the CAA, added the initiative will be instrumental in providing “additional literacy opportunities for thousands of students and young adults who can directly benefit from reading, absorbing and understanding the lessons shared throughout the memoir.”
This isn’t the first youth empowerment project Smith has been involved in. He invested in an app designed to educate teenagers about financial literacy.