*NFL star Russell Wilson and wife Ciara are paying it forward to a local Washington charter school.
The couple are giving $1.75 million to the Cascade Midway Academy after founders Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield reached out to Wilson’s Why Not You Foundation for help amid the COVID pandemic, PEOPLE reports.
“We’ve always held the belief that life’s successes start with a good education, but recognize that access isn’t always created equally for all,” Wilson and Ciara said in a statement posted to the Why Not You Foundation’s website.
Surprised a local hero with @ciara and @amazon!!! We gave our new friend, Marc, who is a nurse at @seattlechildrens, a home makeover. More info at https://t.co/lLz3lbPb3P#amazonhome #amazonhometownheroes #ad pic.twitter.com/sWK7u5KjI2
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) October 28, 2020
“The Why Not You Foundation was created with the concept of empowering youth to lead with a why not you attitude and that’s why it was important for our foundation to partner with Scott, Garth, and Cascade Public Schools to help open doors for kids from less fortunate backgrounds,” they added.
The Seattle-based school will also rebrand its name to “Why Not You Academy” to reflect the foundation’s contribution.
“This school is a longtime dream of ours and it was important for us to find a way to combine traditional classroom learning with community and mentorship-based activities, in order to prepare kids for the real world,” the couple said in their statement. “Why Not You is based on the idea that it can start with one and our hope is that this school will be the first of many.”
The school will primarily serve ninth-grade students upon opening.
“I’m really confident… about the team that we have here and how we’re building things out,” Ciara told the AP. “We’re passionate about everything. We’re all in on this.”
“We’ve been so committed over the past four years to education,” Wilson added. “This isn’t anything political for us.”