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Will.i.am donates $100,000 to New Zealand schools

R&B star gives money to low income kids to help them compete in the modern age
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Patrick Pentland, May 15, 2013 3:00:27 PM

Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am surprised children at a private school in New Zealand with a $100,000 cheque.

The cheque went towards the Manaiakalani Trust which was set up in 2011 to provide modern tools for learning in low income schools. Will.i.am’s donation will go towards providing new computers and iPads for the schools.

The “Scream and Shout” singer was in New Zealand to attend a clothing company party last week, and made the donation at Auckland’s Point England Primary School the next morning. He preformed at the Hallenstein Brothers’ Ultimate After Party in Auckland, and perhaps wanted to give a little of his (no doubt) large fee back.

The Manaiakalani Trust will distribute the money across nine schools in Auckland’s oldest state housing communities. Will.i.am, real name William Adams, said that he grew up in similar circumstances in East L.A., and that the support of friends and family kept him out of prison and helped him achieve the success he enjoys today.

“Music and arts literally saved my life,” he said.

He spoke about the coming technological age, and how it is important for children to have the tools to learn to compete.

“What’s coming is something that we haven’t seen in humanity – this technological revolution that is transforming society as a whole. As the world advances, kids in inner cities are left behind and not even given the tools to compete in the future that we are walking into.”

Will.i.am is keen on science and is planning to go back to school in September, perhaps attending M.I.T. Last year he partnered with NASA to transmit his song, “Reach for the Stars” from the Mars Curiosity rover, being transmitted to Earth by radio waves.

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Patrick Pentland

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