Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am returns to campaign mode with his new song “American Dream” that is kicking off a $5 million GoFundMe fundraising initiative today to benefit the i.am Angel Foundation.
Education is a core building block of the American Dream, that gives every student a real chance at achieving economic equality. Funds raised will be used to expand delivery of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education programs for needy college-bound students in underserved communities.
“American Dream” by will.i.am is available exclusively on Apple Music and iTunes. The track will be featured alongside in-depth interviews with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe on January 12 and Ebro Darden on January 19, while the “American Dream” programming will live across both Apple Music and Apple Podcasts. The GoFundMe campaign will launch with the dedicated song and will incorporate Apple Pay to help drive donations.
The most successful business leaders and companies in America recognize that investing in youth and equal access to quality education is a national priority. STEAM education is helping to put more diverse candidates into skilled, high-paying jobs and improve American competitiveness.
“Fair access to quality education is a social justice issue that is core to achieving the ‘American Dream’,” said will.i.am, Founder of the i.am Angel Foundation. “Kids that graduate from high school with STEAM skills and go onward to college have better career paths, the opportunity to start businesses, build wealth and lift their families and communities out of poverty.”
The i.am Angel Foundation’s GoFundMe kickoff campaign donors (as of 1/10/2021) from the business community and the entertainment industry include: Apple, Angela Ahrendts, Tim & Nancy Armstrong/Armstrong Angel Foundation, Marc Benioff, Solina Chau, Coca-Cola, Ron Conway, Tim Draper, Lady Gaga, Laurene Powell Jobs, Dean Kamen, Andrew Liveris, Yuri Milner, Paramount Pictures, Mark Pincus, Haim Saban, Anthony Scaramucci, will.i.am, Oprah Winfrey and Zynga.
Key collaborators Apple, GoFundMe and Zynga have provided significant financial, operational and promotional support for the “American Dream” campaign launch. Zynga has also committed to provide career day and internship opportunities for i.am Angel Foundation program high school and college students.
“These kids are our next generation of leaders, mentors and innovators,” said Krystal Bowen, Deputy General Counsel at Zynga and Chairperson of Black Zynga Union (BZU), an internal resource group for employees of color. Connecting students from underrepresented communities with resources, tutoring, financial aid and access can make their college aspirations a reality. The dream that will.i.am’s i.am Angel Foundation drives is shared by Zynga, and we’re proud to be a partner in this vital initiative.”
As American companies are increasing efforts to put more diverse candidates into good jobs, up the career ladder and into boardrooms, filling the pipeline starts early as young children start attending school. The i.am Angel Foundation programs are delivering outstanding results, with program students matriculating to attend top Ivy League and prestigious universities, among them Brown University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley and USC.
Created by will.i.am in 2009, the i.am Angel Foundation supports students living below the poverty line in his hometown neighborhood of Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles and beyond to provide access to after-school tutoring, STEAM courses, robotics clubs, and computer coding classes. will.i.am started his foundation after appearing on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” where he surprised four needy students with scholarship money. The students had achieved top grades and were accepted to college, but their families could not afford the tuition. This life-changing moment inspired will.i.am to formalize his philanthropy and start funding students in his hometown neighborhood.
By: Oscar Salinas