Seattle Seahawks star QB and NFL MVP candidate Russell Wilson and his Grammy-winning wife Ciara – along with their Why Not You Foundation – announced this week the first-ever Why Not You Academy, planned to open in Fall 2021 in Des Moines.
The new high school is a partnership between authorized charter public school leaders Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield and the Why Not You Foundation. The tuition-free, charter public high school operates in full accordance with the Washington state charter school law.
The new school will serve systemically underserved students by “providing innovative and tailored learning experiences, all while inspiring tomorrow’s leaders to lead with a why not you attitude.”
Through their Why Not You Foundation, Wilson and Ciara are contributing about $1.75 million to rebrand an existing charter program known as Cascade Midway Academy, just south of Seattle. It’s where the couple have their home base because Wilson plays quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks football team.
“We’ve always held the belief that life’s successes start with a good education, but recognize that access isn’t always created equally for all,” Wilson and Ciara said. “The Why Not You Foundation was created with the concept of empowering youth to lead with a why not you attitude and that’s why it was important for our foundation to partner with Scott, Garth, and Cascade Public Schools to help open doors for kids from less fortunate backgrounds. This school is a longtime dream of ours and it was important for us to find a way to combine traditional classroom learning with community and mentorship-based activities, in order to prepare kids for the real world. Why Not You is based on the idea that it can start with one and our hope is that this school will be the first of many.”
The curriculum is based on three pillars:
- Personalization: Personal learning plans based on each student’s vision, passions, and goals for life following high school.
- Leave to Learn: Opportunities to connect with industry professionals through internships and mentorships.
- 21st Century Academics: A rigorous, relevant, and culturally responsive curriculum focused on deeper learning to support the skills needed to succeed after school, such as communicating effectively and working collaboratively to solve complex problems.
Why Not You Academy is the first school planned for a larger, national network backed by the Why Not You Foundation and hopes to provide prospective students with a resource and added option to determine the learning environment that best suits their needs. Every student will receive an equal opportunity for success by filling the gap and leveling the playing field, while prioritizing students who have been systematically underserved.
For more information, visit www.wnyacademy.org.
The new school will be located at 22419 Pacific Hwy South: