He was one of the founding members of acclaimed hip hop/pop band The Black Eyed Peas and now he’s hitting our screens each night on the new season of The Voice. Despite a very impressive CV and a cluster of Grammy Awards, will.i.am has used his star power for good – to promote education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
He started a foundation called i.am.angel that encourages school students to embrace STEM. He is especially passionate about young girls and disadvantaged communities seeing the benefits of taking maths and science classes.
He said in an Huffington Post article: “We are very curious – so why is it that some kids are less likely than others to opt in to science and math — particularly minorities and girls? That means these youth are more likely to be shut out of career fields and industries with good growth potential when they graduate from college. And it stands in the way of our goal of truly changing the culture among those that need it most. How to shift how our culture views STEM starts at a young age, and spans across popular culture. Introducing kids to STEM in an interesting and hands-on way is the mission. Encouraging kids to think big, and to dream without shutting down their ideas and experimentation, is vital.”
will.i.am, or William James Anderson, was raised in the housing project of East Los Angeles by his Mother. He was born in 1975 and was signed at the young age of 18 to a rap music label. However he publically stresses that becoming a rock star or athlete is a one in a million chance and kids should focus on studying hard in the STEM fields.
He says: “We are distressed that American culture celebrates athletes and pop stars because they are cool, exciting and glamorous. No disrespect to my fellow musicians and pro athlete friends, but the sobering reality is that only one in a million, or smaller odds, may make it as a pro athlete or become a world famous musician. As a nation, everyone should be celebrating kids who are smart, have found their spark and have a thirst for knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
or watch the Graham Norton Video:
photo credits: Billboard and Reuters
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