There’s a long list of things that Pharrell has done for his home state of Virginia. In 2017, he pushed forward a plan to bring a new Virginia Beach Dome venue to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. He also brought the Something In The Water festival to the state in 2019 as a highlight attraction to Virginia during their College Beach Weekend. Now, the multitalented act is back with more for Virginia as he announced plans to open a private school in the state for low-income students.
The Yellowhab school will be opened in Norfolk, Virginia’s Ghent neighborhood, which is close to his Virginia Beach hometown. Children in grades 3-5 will be able to enroll at Yellowhab and tuition for at least the first year will be free with other costs to be paid for by charitable donations.
“If the system is fixed and unfair, then it needs to be broken,” Pharrell said in a press release according to The Virginian Pilot. “We don’t want lockstep learning where so many kids fall behind; we want bespoke learning designed for each child, where the things that make a child different are the same things that will make a child rise up and take flight.”
Pharrell chose Norfolk for the school because of its history of housing segregation and the city’s plans to redevelop three public housing complexes. Yellowhab is also designed to group students by skill level rather than grade with a curriculum that gives priority to STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The school will open on September 7 and families can apply for enrollment on July 1 through Yellowhab’s website.