Created by Williams, YELLOWHAB is a “microschool” located in the legendary musician’s hometown of Norfolk, Virginia. The technology company is donating tech like The Webex Suite, Secure X, WiFi-6, Meraki, data centers and DNA Spaces to provide an inclusive, hybrid learning environment.
“We don’t know much about the workforce today’s 10-year-olds will eventually enter; in fact, The Institute for the Future reports 85% of the jobs today’s students could apply for in 2030 don’t even exist yet,” Cisco said in a statement. “But some things are certain—they will need a solid education to be adaptable, creative, and tech fluent.”
“This partnership between YELLOW and Cisco will take the education of our students at YELLOWHAB to the next level,” Williams said. “I look forward to our youth experiencing education through Cisco’s state of the art technology which will continuously expand their lens of possibility through which they see themselves, their community, and their futures.”
Cisco Chair and CEO, Chuck Robbins, also chimed in and spoke about YELLOW’s mission to Cisco’s company purpose: “Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all, which includes empowering future generations and making a positive impact on communities around the world. It’s critical that we work together with local partners to ensure that today’s youth learn and realize their potential in a digital age. Everyone needs access to experiential learning, and we’re proud to work with Pharrell and YELLOW to reach historically marginalized communities and close the digital divide.”
YELLOWHAB is open to rising 3rd, 4th or 5th grade students who live in Norfolk and who received free and reduced lunch. More than 400 students applied to the YELLOWHAB lottery, of which 40 students were ultimately selected to attend for the 2021-22 school year.