Pharrell Williams is to open a youth centre to help young people in Virginia Beach.

The new initiative will help young people find support in following their artistic talents.

“I wanted to provide people with the same opportunities I got,” he says in Wallpaper magazine. "My teachers didn’t let me go until I had realized my potential. They taught me to fight my way out of a paper bag.

“Children need guidance and creative discipline and someone to be there when they fall. They also need a safe haven. At the moment, arts organizations across the U.S. are having their funding cut and we can’t let that happen. There’s so little regard for creative skills. Where would we be without design?”

The new facility will be built in Williams Farm Park, and aims to provide an environment conducive to learning and serve as a place to “inspire and educate”. The Center’s programs will seek to change the world of the underserved kids, one kid at a time, by giving them resources/tools to meet their unique potential. The vision of the center is to modernize the community center concept by empowering kids to learn through new technologies, arts, and media.

The Center will serve school-age children through second year of college in the greater Virginia Beach area.

In spite of his extensive worldwide travel and business commitments, Pharrell remains committed to the Virginia Beach community. Since 2004 he has provided financial support for the Back to School Supplies program and the distribution of Thanksgiving turkeys to residents of the neighborhood in which he grew up. The PWRC will be the crown jewel of his investment in this community. Pharrell provided the original vision for the Center and he will be involved both in the campaign to raise funds for its construction and in the development of its programs.

The estimated cost of the PWRC and an endowment for operations and maintenance is $35 million. The projected opening date is 2013. The venture will be supported by Pharrell’s charity, From One Hand To Another.

Source: From One Hand To Another

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