The first unsigned musical guest to perform on Saturday Night Live and Coloring Book was the first streaming-only album to nab a Grammy nomination, let alone a win.
Chance the Rapper is taking the world by storm and now, he’s deciding to contribute to a place he calls home.
Chicago’s very own Grammy- winner Chance the Rapper, is showing his generosity once again but now to the public-school system that educated him. The 23-year- old grew up in the middle-class neighborhood of West Chatham on Chicago’s South Side. Just last month, Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, announced that he’d be donating $1 million to the Chicago public school system.
Bennett described the funding as a “call to action” and said the money comes from his recent concert ticket sales.
The decision came after meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss his interest in education issues.
“I’m meeting privately with the governor Wednesday. The two of us will address funding education in Chicago. I’m eager to hear his ideas,” @chancetherapper tweeted.
Apparently, the meeting was an unsatisfying one for the Chicago-native.
He reportedly told journalists that Rauner “gave me a lot of vague answers, so we’ll see what happens,” later tweeting, “The fight has just begun.”
According to ABC-5 Chicago, Bennett “slammed the governor for vetoing $215 million in CPS funding last December. Rauner nixed the funding after claiming that Democratic leaders backed out of a deal to pass comprehensive pension reform.”
“As a parent, and a proud CPS graduate, I’m committed to helping Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences and quality in the learning space,” Chance said, handing a giant check to students at Robeson High School in Englewood. “This effort is direct and intentional, and will affect the schools that are the most in need.”
The rapper also promised $10,000 more to 12 additional neighborhood schools.
The 12 latest schools that will each receive $10,000 checks are: Crane High School, Julian High School, Armour Elementary School, Revere Elementary School, Harlan High School, Gage Park High School, Solario Academy High School, Azuela Elementary School, Clark High School, Hyde Park High School, Steinmetz High School and Powell Elementary School.
The schools are all open- enrollment neighborhood schools whose students are predominantly African American and low income.
The schools are advised to use the money immediately to fund new programs or reinstate ones that had to be cut this winter when CPS imposed a freeze on principals’ remaining discretionary money.
The “New Chance: Arts and Literature” fund is to help alleviate the Chicago public school’s funding deficit and will take effect during the 2017-2018 school year targeting schools that “are most in need,” according to chanceraps.com.
Bennett also said he’s calling on friends, fellow artists and corporations to support his push to better fund CPS.
Recently, The New Chance Arts and Literature Fund received a $1 million donation from the Chicago Bulls, the rapper announced.
According to the Chicago Sun- Times, at an event at Robeson High School in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, Chance handed students a giant check and said, “As a parent, and a proud CPS graduate, I’m committed to helping Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences and quality in the learning space.”
He added, “This effort is direct and intentional, and will affect the schools that are the most in need.”
The New Chance Arts and Literature Fund “will ensure more students have access to arts enrichment education. The fund will bring arts programs and materials to schools that have experienced a decrease in 5-year graduation rates, addressing their budgets, textbooks, and music programs,” according to chanceraps.com.
The New Chance Fund, a partnership with CPS’ foundation and Ingenuity, will help schools yet to be named that have seen graduation rate decreases, budget cuts and have no music or arts programs starting next fall, Chance said.
So far, there has been more than $2.2 million raised to support the cause.
However, this may not be enough, Chicago’s Board of Education is facing a $215 million budget gap.
Former First Lady and fellow Chicago native Michelle Obama shared her appreciation for Bennett’s gift, tweeting, “Thanks @ chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much. You are an example of the power of arts education.”
One should always remember: no matter how tough you think your life is there’s always someone who has to face challenges that are even tougher than yours.
Not only basic things like making money, getting food, or having a place to rest at night, but also the possibility of taking part in some entrepreneurial projects or getting proper education.
Giving back is where you give, and then nothing happens. No benefits for you, no recognition, nothing tangible gets sent your way. Your biggest and sole reward is the realization that you’ve made a significant change in someone’s life. And if not “significant” then a positive change nevertheless.