Pharrell Williams is helping to shape the futures of 114 Harlem high school graduates.
All 114 graduates have been accepted into college, according to Anne Williams-Isom, the CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone — the organization that runs the charter schools — and she says the opportunity given by Williams will urge them to “be leaders for justice and change in the world.”
Brionna Pope is one of the students who will benefit from the 46-year-old musician’s internship promise and has said she was “surprised, shocked, and relieved” to discover she had a guaranteed internship waiting for her.
The 17-year-old student told CNN: “I was surprised and shocked and relieved. A lot of us who were financially struggling … to at least know we had a head start in life because next summer we would be able to get internships and make connections.
“My school targets [students] that are financially struggling. I currently have a struggling single mother who is trying to pay for my student loans for Syracuse.”
Pope is set to study animation at Syracuse University in New York and hopes the internship can help her bag a job with Pixar or DreamWorks.
She added: “I could just get that internship with Pixar, DreamWorks … from any animation company. I will know that I don’t have to settle for less.
“[Students won’t] have to stress about making those connections because they know Williams will take them under his wing.
“We already had a 100 percent college acceptance rate, [Pharrell] is going to take the next step forward and provide us an internship so we can keep [going] forward.”