After Chance the Rapper donated one million dollars to Chicago Public Schools earlier this month, three CPS students wrote a heartfelt “thank you” letter to the rapper via Billboard. “There are many big celebrities from Chicago, but you are one of the few that really give back,” wrote 10th graders Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros and Annelisse Betancourt of Lake View High School. “It is evident that you sincerely care for the youth here.”
The students acknowledged Chance’s numerous contributions to Chicago Public Schools, which have struggled financially in recent years. “All of the things that you do for our city never go unnoticed,” they wrote. “All of the free concerts you host and all the time you spend here in the city really show you care. We notice it. We look up to you because the fame usually takes humility away from artists, but it hasn’t changed you.”
They also praised Chance for his work with the 2014 #SaveChicago campaign, an anti-violence movement that culminated in 42 hours without a gun-related homicide in the city. “Even though this was three years ago, the fact you had such a tremendous impact on Chicago shows how much the people of this city look up to you,” the teenagers wrote.
The Coloring Book rapper thanked the students on Twitter, promising, “the work has only just started. Huge things to come over the next 2 weeks.” Chance’s donation, which benefited the CPS Foundation “for arts and enrichment programming,” came days after his frustrating meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss state funding for the school systems.
The musician told reporters at a press conference that the donation will be made possible through ticket sales for his upcoming spring tour, including a joint effort between concert promoters and venues.