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Pharrell to open low-income schools in Virginia

Pharrell Williams, famed producer and musician, will be opening several private schools exclusively for low-income students. Places are available right now online.

Fancy enlisting at a Pharrell funded school?

If you’re from Virginia you may be in luck, as the lauded producer Pharrell Williams has announced the opening of several private schools exclusive to low income families.

The first is named Yellowhab and will be opening in the Ghent neighbourhood near Norfolk, where Pharrell grew up. Students from grades three to five will be able to enlist – and the first year of tuition will be free. Later fees will be paid through donations and charitable giving.

It doesn’t stop there, either.

Pharrell’s education arm of his non-profit organisation, Yellow, plans to open a middle school next year, with additional educational facilities in the surrounding area expected to pop up over the coming years. Education never sounded so good.

Yellowhab will be prioritising STEM learning, technology, engineering, art, and maths, though students will be placed into classes based on skill level rather than grades. It’s a key distinction that will separate Yellowhab from the traditional education model.

The school will be opening September 7th, 2021, and enrolment is available until July 7th on the official Yellow website. Places will be given on a lottery basis to minimise any potential bias.

Pharrell also just announced a new partnership with Chanel to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs – check out the announcement video ‘Women Who Lead’ below.

All of Pharrell’s efforts to provide new opportunities for disadvantaged youth comes as an attempt to – at least in part – distance himself from his earlier reputation and work. In 2019 he expressed strong regret for his involvement with ‘Blurred Lines’ and has been making an active effort to better his opinions and improve equality in the music industry.

Speaking to The Virginia Pilot, Pharrell explained that ‘if the system is fixed and unfair, then it needs to be broken, we don’t want lockstep learning where so many kids fall behind’.

Opening new schools that democratise education should be celebrated and it would be fantastic to see more musical influencers follow suit. Perhaps we’ll see a Billie Eilish university in the not-so-distant future?

You can expect a flurry of sign ups to enrol if that ever does happen.


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