Grammy award-winning musician, philanthropist and business mogul Pharrell Williams surprised the 2019 graduating class of Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy when he assured internships for each and every one of them.
Taking to the podium to address the graduating seniors as the keynote speaker, Pharrell’s announcement was met with loud exhilarating cheers and applause.
“So let me be clear – for every member of the 2019 graduating class is guaranteed an internship waiting for them – you – next summer,” he assured the excited graduates who have also all impressively been accepted to college.
“It’s one thing to be ‘woke,’ another to be awake, leaned in and engaged,” he added.
The “Happy” singer also shared his excitement about the future and the new Harlem renaissance.
“The world is watching Harlem, but this renaissance will be different,” he said. “Believe it or not, with respect, it’s going to actually be better. And the reason why is because the new Harlem Renaissance has education at its core.”
Pharrell’s commendable gesture comes in the wake of prominent black personalities who were invited as commencement speakers at graduating ceremonies extending a much needed helping hand to the graduating class.
In May, billionaire Robert F. Smith surprised the 2019 graduating class of Morehouse College when he announced he was going to pay off their student loans estimated at $40 million.
Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from the college and was the commencement speaker at the ceremony had already pledged to donate $1.5 million to the college, Time reports.
The announcement, which came as surprise to both the college administration and the nearly 400 graduating students was met with loud cheers and applause.
“Men of Morehouse, you are surrounded by a community of people who have helped you arrive at this sacred place on this sacred day. On behalf of the 8 generations of my family who have been in this country, we are going to put a little fuel in your bus,” he started.
“Now I’ve got the alumni over there and this is a challenge to you, alumni. This is my class, 2019. And my family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans,” he added.
The out of the blue announcement was met with a rousing applause and MVP chants by the overly excited graduating class.
“Now I know my class will make sure they pay this forward, and I want my class to look at these alumnus, these beautiful Morehouse brothers and let’s make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward,” he said.
“We are enough to take care of our own community. We are enough to ensure we have all the opportunities of the American dream. And we will show it to each other through our actions and through our words and through our deeds.
“So the class of 2019, may the sun always shine upon you. May the wind always be at your back. And may God always hold you in the cradle of her hands,” he concluded.