Three months after he surprised more than 100 Harlem high school graduates with top-tier internships, Pharrell has found another major way to give back to the next generation.
The “Happy” singer recently made a secret visit to Entrepreneurship Preparatory School in Cleveland, Ohio, where a classroom of middle schoolers was busy at work, unaware that he was about to forever shake up the way they learn.
As the music icon walked into the room, the students gasped, many covering their mouths in excitement.
Pharrell then revealed that their under-resourced school would get its own state-of-the-art Verizon Learning Lab, equipped with Verizon 5G technology they could use to get creative and pursue their scholarly passions.
He then joined the kids as they began experimenting with the new gadgets: recording their dance routines on tablets, flying drones and using laptops, 3D printers and virtual reality headsets.
Pharrell’s surprise is part of his larger mission as a Verizon Innovative Learning Partner to make sure students get equal access to technology, regardless of where they go to school.
“You know, that kind of cutting-edge technology is not usually afforded to the kids from the inner cities, so I think it’s a beautiful thing,” he said in an exclusive video of the big reveal.
The kids of Entrepreneurship Prep aren’t the only ones who will be getting their hands on new technology. Onstage the 2019 Global Citizen Festival in New York City, Pharrell and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg revealed that their initial surprise was just the beginning: by 2021, 100 Title I middle schools will get the latest 5G tech as part of the company’s Innovative Learning schools program.
Watch the video above to see more from Pharrell’s special day with Cleveland students.