Russell Wilson and Ciara Donate Nearly $2M to Washington Charter School: 'We're All in on This'
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and wife Ciara are making an impactful financial contribution to a local Washington charter school.
According to the Associated Press, the superstar couple is giving $1.75 million to the cash-strapped Cascade Midway Academy, which ran into financial trouble amid the coronavirus pandemic. With the outbreak putting the school's debut on hold, founders Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield reached out to Wilson's Why Not You Foundation for help.
"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," Wilson and Ciara said in a statement posted to the Why Not You Foundation's website.
"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," they added.
The school, located south of Seattle, will also rebrand its name to "Why Not You Academy" to reflect the foundation's contribution.
"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," the couple said in their statement. "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."
On the foundation's website, the couple announced the school will be concentrated on personalized learning based on students' own passions and goals, while also providing them with internship and mentorship opportunities. The school will primarily serve ninth-grade students upon opening, according to Kent Reporter.
"I’m really confident… about the team that we have here and how we’re building things out," Ciara told the AP. "We’re passionate about everything. We’re all in on this."
"We’ve been so committed over the past four years to education,” Wilson added. "This isn’t anything political for us."
In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Ciara opened up about how philanthropy has been vital for the couple. They recently teamed up with Amazon and the Guild Association at Seattle Children's Hospital for their Amazon Hometown Heroes project, which gives back to those in the Seattle area who have done essential work and gone above and beyond in the past seven months.
"Whenever there's an opportunity to give back, especially during times like this," Ciara explained, "we always jump at that opportunity."
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