Super Bowl Champion Russell Wilson and GRAMMY Award winner Ciara have donated $1.75 million to the Seattle area charter school, Why Not You Academy. The couple is working with Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield to open the tuition-free public high school. Canfield and Reeves had initially hoped to open a school of their own this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic had thwarted their plans. Luckily, the Wilsons stepped in and offered a donation to push their plans forward.
“By providing students with access to innovative and equitable education opportunities they deserve, Why Not You Academy will equip today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders,” the school said in a statement on Wednesday. The school will open in Des Moines, Washington with an inaugural class of 100 students. With their first school in the works, the Wilsons hope that it will be the first of many to come.
“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," the couple stated.
“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 just one of many ventures the couple has initiated together. In 2019, the couple started Why Not You productions. More recently, the two bought a piece of Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC.
Why Not You Academy is set to open its door in September 2021.