Upon the newly release single, “Surf” a collaboration with Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Chance the Rapper gave some Chicago Public School students a special treat. Comcast in partnership with the City of Chicago recognized several students at Scammon Elementary and John Fiske School for winning the “Get Schooled, Get Connected” Spring Challenge.
Over the course of the challenge, 4,000 students from more than 20 CPS schools participated in 150,000 online sessions designed to educate them about topics, ranging from how to succeed in school and plan for their continuing education, to how to apply for college and identify financial aid resources. The 10-week-long Spring Challenge follows on the success of a similar effort in the fall of 2014 that engaged 3,000 students.
At Scammon and Fiske Elementary Schools, the Chicago born artist took time out to have a one-on-one discussion with selected student program participants, answering up close and direct questions such as his start in the music business to who his favorite athlete was. He happily informed the group that he was influenced by fellow Chicagoan, Kanye West’s debut album, “The College Drop Out”. Not too long ago, the 22- year old was a part of the Young Chicago Authors organization building a following among his peer group without the assistance of a record label.
On his final stop at John Fiske School in Washington Park, as an independently promoted artist, Chance candidly addressed an auditorium students advising them on the benefits of maintaining creative freedom—apart from major label distribution.
“One piece of advice, you don’t need a label. You guys ever heard of a record label? You watch documentaries, you see people talking about how to get discovered or you need to get signed to a label – it’s all fake. You don’t need that all. All you need is the people. If you record your project and you move around, perform at some shows—open mics, you develop your fan base.” said Chance.
As three Fiske School students recipients recited a poem or rapped a verse to the encouragement of their fellow students, they happily posed with one of their favorite rap artists. Chance presented the school with the Comcast sponsored check in the amount of $1,500 to further assist students in the technology program.
Since 2005, Assistant Principal Dana Turner has worked at John Fiske School and was extremely pleased at such an opportunity for students participating in the “Get Schooled, Get Connected” Spring Challenge.
“This was an awesome experience for my students. Mainly because the work that my technology teacher has done with them. This check represents all of the wonderful materials that we can bring into our technology center. Our children is using this to work and further their understanding of technology as a whole.” she said. “The icing on the cake was Chance the Rapper coming out to support our school, meet our students and answer some wonderful questions with our students. Keeping that focus on careers, college and life readiness.”
Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides eligible low-income families broadband Internet service at home for about $10 a month, partnered on the challenge and helped some of the students participate. Since the program began in 2011, Comcast has connected more than 27,000 families and nearly 120,000 individuals in Chicago to the Internet at home via Internet Essentials.