Will.i.am seems to be taking jolly ol’ London by storm as of late, from his performance for The Queen at her recent Jubilee to lending his music expertise to the contestants on UK edition of The Voice. But it’s his latest endeavor that has Londoners tipping their hats to the American superstar.
Last week, Will.i.am announced via Twitter he would donate most of his salary from The Voice to The Prince’s Trust. The donation of £500,000 (nearly $800,000) will be used to help young people build skills for their future, focusing on science and technology.
I gave the majority of the money I made on the voice to the @PrincesTrust to build a tech program to get the kids from east LDN up to speed
— will.i.am (@iamwill) June 21, 2012
Will was inspired to donate after meeting with the Prince of Wales and hearing about the Royal’s work with underprivileged kids living in London. The Black Eyed Pea grew up in East Los Angeles, one of the most under-served communities in America, and in a statement said he understood what a good support system can do for someone.
“My life could have turned out very differently if it were not for the support and encouragement provided by my single working Mum, my uncles and my teachers who encouraged me to dream, and to pursue my goal of getting into the music business,” he said. “My family made sure I understood that getting a good education and hard work were key to turning my dreams into reality and beating the odds that come with growing up in a disadvantaged situation.”
The money was donated through Will’s charity, i.am.angel, which he founded in 2009 to help transform the lives of young people through education. The singer said he was happy to be a part of something with a long history of helping those in need.
“The Prince’s Trust has a 36-year history of assisting disadvantaged youth,” he said. “So I am pleased to be collaborating with an organization that shares my mission to transform the lives of young people who need extra support and structure in their lives.”
This is not the first time will.i.am has given back. The singer also started five other foundations such as i.am.scholarship, which provides financial assistance for those who can’t afford to go to college on their own and i.am.home, which helps families dealing with foreclosure.
Along with finishing up his next solo album, #willpower, he’s also working with the people of Boyle Heights in East L.A. to develop a community center that will provide programs to help prepare local students for college.
-Shannon Carlin, CBS Local