Chance the Rapper bestows “Blessings” Upon Chicago’s School District

Aurora Coria (12th), Reporter

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The beginning of March proved an exceptional time for the city of Chicago; Chancelor Bennett, also known as Chance the Rapper, provided Chicago’s School District with a million dollars for their art and after school programs.

With over 400,000 students, Chicago’s school system is the third largest district in the United States; it’s currently “facing a budget deficit that could bring an early end to the school year;” ergo, the rapper’s “call to action” (The New York Times).

The Grammy award winner recently met with Illinois’ governor, Bruce Rauner to discuss the funding of Chicago’s schools; throughout the meeting he received “vague” answers to his questions and walked away feeling frustrated. He longed for a launch by news outlets into how the “school system arrived at its current state.”

Chance claimed he would do his best to “protect Chicago’s most valuable resource: its children” (TIME).

Prior to the big announcement, Rauner drew up a proposal that potentially secured $215 million for the education system.

The press conference, held at Westcott Elementary School in Southside Chicago, streamed live on Instagram where he beamed,

“Today I’m proud to announce that I am donating $1 million to CPS to support arts and enriching programming, I’m excited to share that this donation was made possible by my fans.”

A fraction of the proceeds for Chance’s upcoming tour allowed the contribution to occur; he encouraged everyone to help through ‘SocialWorks’ “an organization he helped create aimed at youth empowerment.” Ten thousand dollars go towards a specific school for every hundred thousand fundraised.

The money put forth will be distributed amongst ten public elementary and high schools; ten thousand set aside for each school.

A spokesperson to the governor, Eleni Demertzis failed to respond to the act of kindness in a way other didm she claims “individual contributions will never be enough to address the financial challenges facing Chicago Public Schools,” that doesn’t mean he will stop trying to help save the system in which he was once a part of (The New York Times).

Other responded appropriately, like former first lady Michelle Obama (who is also a Chicago native) recognized Chance’s assistance and thanked him for “giving back to the Chicago community.”

Another press conference was held last Friday where Chance “announced the Chicago Bulls proudly matched his million dollar contribution; the rapper also reported the creation of a new after-school program for the city’s students, the Chance Arts and Literature Fund” (USA Today).

Fundraising efforts have paid of as $2.2 million dollars are going towards Chicago’s schools.

Billboard posted a letter from a tenth grader in the school system thanking Chance and it’s the most heartfelt letter,

“You’re more than just an artist to us, you are a way of life, you make music that we can relate to on many levels, because you know what living in Chicago is like, and you want to make changes in the city. We may not be from the same side but we come from the same city. We just want to thank you for not forgetting where you came from and helping the city of Chicago in more ways than just being an inspirational rapper. You’re using your fame for good and not just to look good. You gave $1 million dollars of your personal money to Chicago schools and that’s something no one has done for us.”

Chance the Rapper is changing the definition of philanthropy as we know it.

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