Pharrell Williams teaming up with Cisco to bring cutting-edge technology to Norfolk microschool YELLOWHAB

Virginia Natural Gas YELLOWHAB donation
Posted at 12:58 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 09:28:54-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Pharrell Williams and Cisco are teaming up to "power an inclusive learning experience" through new technology at Williams' new microschool, YELLOWHAB.

The technology company is offering tech like The Webex Suite, Secure X, WiFi-6, Meraki, data centers and DNA Spaces to provide an inclusive, hybrid learning environment and keep kids connected when learning goes beyond the walls of the classroom.

"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.”

Backed by Williams’ nonprofit YELLOW, YELLOWHAB opened 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.

With the goal of expanding on the equity-focused nonprofit’s decade of experience running summer programs for students, the school is tuition-free, and the cost of attendance will be covered by philanthropic support.

In February, Virginia Natural Gas awarded $100,000 to YELLOWHAB to cover the cost of students' meals.