A graduating class of NYC high school students received a life-changing gift from Pharrell.
Over the weekend, the multi-hyphenate delivered the keynote speech at Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy's 2019 graduation ceremony. While on stage, Pharrell announced that he is offering internships to the entire graduating class following the students' first year of college.
"So let me be clear, every member of the 2019 graduating class, is guaranteed an internship waiting for them, you, next summer," he said in front of the crowd. "It’s one thing to be 'woke,' another to be awake, leaned in, and engaged."
According to BuzzFeed News, every student in the charter school's 2019 class received offers to attend colleges and universities. Anne Williams-Isom, the CEO of Harlem Children's Zone, told the outlet that the school created the internship program in partnership with Pharrell as a way to give students better access to business opportunities and connections.
"In order for us to get our community, these children, and these families out of poverty, we want to make sure that they are connected to a livable wage," Williams-Isom said. "And we know that for so many of our young people, the way that they’re going to be able to do that is with that college degree in their hands, but also with some experience from very good internships that they will be able to do while they’re in college."
The school didn't specify where the internships would take place but stated they would be in line with the 114 students' respective career goals.
"When he guaranteed my entire class with an internship, I knew that this a stepping-stone into something great," said Jada Warmington, the valedictorian of the 2019 class. "I just knew that next summer was gonna be the summer for me, because I was a little bit worried about going into college and not knowing what’s next, like how am I gonna prepare for internships for the fall and summer, especially the really competitive ones."
Check out Pharrell's big announcement, as well as the graduates' reactions, above.