Why Not You Foundation Launches Teen Empowerment Campaign 

Today, the Why Not You Foundation, in partnership with King County Library System (KCLS), KCLS Foundation and JPMorgan Chase launched DREAM BIG: Anything is Possible, a teen empowerment campaign that encourages students to take advantage of the wide range of programs and resources offered through community libraries – opening up a world of possibilities and leading the way to achieving their educational and career dreams. 

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At the kick-off event, Russell and Ciara were joined by dozens of high school students at the King County Library System’s Tukwila Library to launch the campaign, including unveiling two limited-edition custom-designed library cards.  

“Believing that you can do something great, means you will do something great,” Russell told the students, with Ciara adding, “libraries offer you a wide range of opportunities to explore and gain knowledge, which is your power. Knowledge will lead you on your way in life and help you succeed in whatever you choose to do.”

With growing evidence that students’ academic success is linked to library usage – including improved student retention and an enhanced academic experience – the five-month campaign is designed around three core components:

Limited-edition Library Cards Featuring Ciara & Russell Wilson

The free all-access KCLS library cards – a centerpiece of the campaign – are available to King County residents (in the KCLS service area) through June 2019 while supplies last at all 48 KCLS community libraries (serving 36 King County cities and 18 school districts) and all 83 JPMorgan Chase branches throughout King County. Beyond books, the KCLS library cards provide students with access to resources and teen programs for immediate- and long-term success. 

The one-of-a-kind library cards were designed by renowned local artist Keegan Hall, whose celebrated photo-realistic drawings of sports, entertainment and public figures have earned Hall widespread acclaim. Hall combines detailed black-and-white pencil drawings of Ciara and Russell Wilson with vivid dream-inspired digital color imagery floating in clouds symbolic of the campaign theme. The individual cards are designed to be separate, but when placed side by side the cards fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. For information about the meaning behind the cards’ imagery, visit www.whynotyoufdn.org/dreambig-keegan-hall.  

 
Keegan Hall, Ciara & Russell Wilson

Keegan Hall, Ciara & Russell Wilson

 

Why Not You Scholarship Program

At the event Russell and Ciara also announced $100,000 in Why Not You Scholarships to help students achieve their educational dreams. The Why Not You Foundation, in partnership with the College Success Foundation, is currently in search of King County students to be inaugural Why Not You Scholars. Eight Why Not You Scholars will be announced this spring – four will receive $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year for four years) to attend a four-year public institution, and four will receive $5,000 scholarships ($2,500 per year for two years) to attend a community college or trade school. Applications and selection criteria will be available at WhyNotYouFdn.org/DREAMBIG beginning March 1, with an application deadline of midnight on March 31. Scholarship recipients will be notified in May.

Programs to Empower Youth with Skills, Confidence and Role Models

The campaign also promotes and encourages participation in a wide variety of KCLS programs including STEAM education, homework help, mentoring, coding classes, ESL support, SAT prep and more – including Teen Voices, a multi-week spring program offered to teens in the Auburn, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Kent, Renton and Tukwila communities to motivate, empower and prepare students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

“We are so grateful and honored that the Why Not You Foundation and JPMorgan Chase have chosen to help KCLS in its continuing efforts to support education and learning – particularly when it comes to teens,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “The Library System values and promotes the quest of knowledge, providing programs and services that lead to personal growth and the pursuit of everyone’s potential. Our Teen Voices programming, scholarships and these very special limited-edition library cards are all part of KCLS’ effort to help teens DREAM BIG.”

“One of the most urgent challenges we face is the need for more inclusive educational opportunities—we know that helping young people gain early access to library cards is a powerful strategy for promoting education and JPMorgan Chase is proud to support the DREAM BIG: Anything is Possible campaign,” said JPMorgan Chase Chairman of the Pacific Northwest Phyllis Campbell. “Libraries offer young people far more than just books – they can open the doors to lifelong opportunities. We take great pride in our history of supporting organizations and programs that strengthen the communities we serve, and we commend the important work of the King County Library System and the Why Not You Foundation.”