Pharrell Williams Promises Internships to 114 High School Graduates in Harlem

While giving the commencement speech at the graduation ceremony for the 2019 class of Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy, Pharrell Williams had a surprise up his sleeve.

The “Happy” singer announced to the 114 graduates that he had guaranteed internship opportunities for every student after their first year of college.

“The world is watching Harlem, but this renaissance will be different,” Williams said during his speech to graduates on June 26. “Believe it or not … it’s going to actually be better. The reason why is because the new Harlem Renaissance has education at its core.”

The Promise Academy is a charter school that offers high-quality education for its 2,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Admission into the school is gained through a lottery or a wait list, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, Williams had been working with the school to create the internship program that would help students gain access to opportunities they may not get otherwise. The ultimate goal is to help them finish college, ending the cycle of generational poverty prevalent in the area.

When one student heard Williams’ announcement, she could not believe it at first but felt a sense of relief going into her freshman year of college.

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