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Russell Wilson and Ciara launch ‘Why Not You’ charter school

Photo Credit: Associated Press

From the moment Russell Wilson joined the Seattle Seahawks his giving back has defined his career just as much as being a Super Bowl winning quarterback. When he married Ciara in 2016, Wilson strengthened his influence by joining forces with his wife to lead the Why Not You Foundation.

Founded in 2014, the foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through education. Why Not You supports student access to equal education opportunities, children’s health and food security initiatives. Its mission is to equip today’s youth with the skills and opportunities to become tomorrow’s leaders.

In parallel with their foundation’s mission, the couple is launching its first-ever ‘Why Not You Academy’ in Washington State, just south of Seattle. Opening in Fall 2021, the new tuition-free, charter high school is a partnership between authorized charter public school leaders Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield and the Why Not You Foundation.

 “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,” the Wilson’s said. “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.”

“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. 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.

-Russell Wilson and Ciara

Why Not You Academy offers students a personalized approach to their education needs and is an extension of the Why Not You Foundation’s belief that high-quality education should be accessible to all students.

The school pledges to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to lead with a why not you attitude, and just like all charter public schools in Washington, the Academy has the flexibility to innovate and tailor learning using a blend of relevant classroom learning with meaningful real-world experiences. 

Why Not You Academy is the first school planned for a larger, national network backed by the Why Not You Foundation and hopes to provide prospective students with a resource and added option to determine the learning environment that best suits their needs.

The academy believes in the pillar that every student will receive an equal opportunity for success by filling the gap and leveling the playing field, while prioritizing students who have been systematically underserved. 

This is just one example of the many ways Russell Wilson and Ciara have given back to the Seattle community together. Earlier this year as the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Wilson’s donated over one million meals to Feeding America in Seattle and pledged to reach 10 million meals through the “Meals Up” Wheels Up initiative. Also, Wilson’s Good Man Brand clothing line helped facilitate the distribution of two million masks.

You can’t help but root for a couple that gives back together. Kudos to the Wilson’s!