Chance the Rapper’s impact on Chicago continues to shine. Following the hometown hero’s $1 million donation to the city’s public schools, three local students wrote an open letter to the Grammy-winning star.
The Lake View High School students, Alex Rojas, Alondra Cerros, and Annelisse Betancourt, published their letter through Billboard, thanking Chance for his philanthropic works.
“We as Chicago Public School students would like to thank you for the supportive donation to our schools,” they wrote. “As we all know, CPS has been struggling financially, and your donation has really given us a push to get to where we need to be and possibly motivate others to give back to the community as well. This is only one of the many things that you have done to improve our Chicago.”
With their letter, they also explained why Chance is much more than a rapper to them. “You’re more than just an artist to us, you are a way of life,” they wrote. “You make music that we can relate to on many levels, because you know what living in Chicago is like, and you want to make changes in the city. We may not be from the same side but we come from the same city. We just want to thank you for not forgetting where you came from and helping the city of Chicago in more ways than just being an inspirational rapper. You’re using your fame for good and not just to look good. You gave $1 million dollars of your personal money to Chicago schools and that’s something no one has done for us.”
In fact, they said Chance offered them “ease” during difficult times by promoting self-reliance. “We thank you for supporting Chicago’s minority youth when not many others have put time to think about the kids,” they added. “As minority students we feel ignored and as though we don’t have enough support from bigger influences like you. Being born and raised in Chicago is not easy at all. There are so many stereotypes and restrictions we have as teenagers due to the frequent violence and crimes. Your music puts some at ease because we know that someone cares and someone has experienced these daily struggles too. You and your music have taught us that you can be true to yourself and still be successful, still be self-made.”
Chance read the letter and responded with promises of more to come. “I appreciate you guys, and you’ll be happy to know the work has only just started,” he tweeted. “Huge things to come over the next 2weeks.”
I appreciate you guys, and you'll be happy to know the work has only just started. Huge things to come over the next 2weeks. https://t.co/tplZMMW9DS
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) March 15, 2017
Lil Chano donated $1 million to Chicago Public Schools earlier this month. He also promised to donate an additional $10,000 to specific public schools. This was celebrated by many, including former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Thanks @chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much,” she tweeted. “You are an example of the power of arts education.”