Pharrell Encourages Students At Miami Edison Senior High School

Pharrell In Miamii

Grammy-winning recording artist Pharrell Williams visited Miami Edison Senior High School to motivate students to succeed academically. Pharrell Williams keeps busy as a Grammy-winning recording artist, producer, musician and fashion designer — but not so busy that he couldn’t give Edison High students some encouraging words. ‘The distance between where you are and where you want to be can be figured out through education,’ Williams said Monday to more than 900 students. He wants to keep the kids focused on their academics. He is part of a program to help turn around Edison Senior High School, which is currently an F school. Teachers and administrators are grateful for the help, especially for Williams advising kids on how to succeed.

Pharrell’s message today was about believing,’ Provost Pablo Ortiz said. ‘It’s important that even though the school has had a label of not being successful, the students have been told that excellence is of the upmost importance,” added freshman Social Studies teacher Tangela Ramos. The school board asked Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra Development, to help bring in businesses and high achievers such as Williams to help Edison, from fundraising to proposing curricular and capital improvement strategies. ‘We have created a board of interested individuals outside of the school system that are committed to this school,” Robins said. “There are things we can do as members of the community that are really going to make a big impact.’ Williams is now an official member of this board that will help Edison.

He heard about the struggling high school directly from Robins. ‘The government heard about this school and they gave up,’ Williams said to the students. ‘But I’m going to be coming to this school from time to time because I’m here with you guys now.’ Williams added that once the students realize he is more than just a guest speaker — that he will be coming back — they will work hard and succeed. ‘Today was like sending out a sonar to see if it would reverberate and get back, and I felt like I got positive results,’ Williams said. Sophomore Tina Malcolm, 15, agreed. ‘I think students look up to celebrities, so this will help motivate students to do better,’ she said. Williams stresses that this is just the beginning for the students at Miami Edison. ‘We are going to make sure students get the best academic treatment that is possible for one to receive and we’re also going to make sure that a kid walks away feeling like they won the lottery, simply because they have an education,’ he said.


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