Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools

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Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
Chance the Rapper leads a presentation during computer education classes at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)

"Chance the Rapper has never forgotten about his neighborhood and the people that got him where he is today," says businessman and author Steve Stoute.

That was clearly in evidence earlier this month, when Chance the Rapper surprised the students at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Paideia Academy in Chicago, to help encourage and inspire the students there to pursue computer education (see photos from the event). The appearance came as Google announced a $1 million grant to Social Works, the non-profit co-founded by Chance and by fellow Chicagoans Justin Cunningham and Essence Smith, to benefit Chicago Public Schools. The grant will assist SocialWorks in its ongoing efforts to help underrepresented students in Chicago, and will support Chicago Public Schools computer-education efforts. Notably, Chicago is the first school district in the nation to mandate computer-science education for every student.

At Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Paideia Academy, Chance the Rapper addressed the entire student body, and he also led a presentation in a computer-science class, and interacted with the students in the class. All of the students at the school received hats, sweatshirts and backpacks in the colors of the city of Chicago flag, emblazoned with the flag's stars and with the word "Coder."

The day also included presentations by Stoute, an author, music-industry veteran and the CEO of Translation, a marketing firm; Justin Cunningham, Executive Director of SocialWorks; and David Drummond, a senior vice president at Alphabet, Google's parent company; along with music from Chicago radio station WPWX Power 92's DJ Pharris. "While every student doesn't need to become a computer scientist, understanding the basics empowers them to understand the world they live in," Cunningham said.

Chance the Rapper, who graduated from Chicago's Jones College Prep High School, has made clear his commitment to Chicago Public Schools. In September, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Chance had raised more than $2.2 million for 20 schools across Chicago through SocialWorks. That donation followed Chance's other acts of philanthropy through SocialWorks, including distribution of out 30,000 backpacks to schoolkids in mid-August, and additional cash donations to CPS through SocialWorks in March.

"The opportunity to help kids code to share their music, artwork and distinct point of view is at the core of our mission and an experience we look forward to providing in classrooms across the city," Cunningham says.

Resources


Chance the Rapper - official site

SocialWorks - official site

Chicago Public Schools

Google: K-12 Computer Science Education

19 Photos

  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper surprises the kids at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago, during a presentation to support computer education, and a Google grant to support ongoing curricula. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    To encourage computer education, students at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago received hats, sweatshirts and backpacks with the colors and stars of the city of Chicago flag, and emblazoned with the word "Coder." (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper speaks to the students and faculty at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago, in a presentation to encourage computer education. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper speaks to the student body at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago, in a presentation to encourage computer education. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    To encourage computer education, students at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago received hats, sweatshirts and backpacks with the colors and stars of the city of Chicago flag, and emblazoned with the word "Coder." (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    To encourage computer education, students at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago received hats, sweatshirts and backpacks with the colors and stars of the city of Chicago flag, and emblazoned with the word "Coder." The gifts were made possible through cooperation between Google and SocialWorks. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper conducts a presentation to students during computer education classes at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper interacts with the students during computer education classes at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper interacts with the students during computer education classes at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper interacts with the students during computer education classes at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Students at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in computer science education. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Google team assisting computer education in Chicago schools
    Google's Rob Biederman, Hannah Peter, Justin Steele, Chelsea Seabron, Samantha Hennessey at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Chance the Rapper interacts with the students during computer education classes at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Google team assisting computer education in Chicago schools
    Google's Christopher Clark and Dasha Arias at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Justin Cunningham is the executive director of SocialWorks, a nonprofit started by Cunningham, Essence Smith and Chance the Rapper, to benefit the Chicago Public Schools. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Principal Sheila Barlow of Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Left to right: Businessman and author Steve Stoute; Sheila Barlow, Principal, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago; Chance the Rapper. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    Left to right: Businessman and author Steve Stoute; SocialWorks Executive Director Justin Cunningham; Sheila Barlow, Principal, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago; Chance the Rapper; Chief Legal Officer of Alphabet, David Drummond. (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)
  • Chance the Rapper helps support computer education in Chicago schools
    To encourage computer education, students at Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Paideia Academy in Chicago received hats, sweatshirts and backpacks with the colors and stars of the city of Chicago flag, and emblazoned with the word "Coder." (Benjamin Lozovsky/BFA.com)