Through their Why Not You Foundation, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and his Grammy Award winning wife Ciara, have donated approximately $1.75 million to begin the process of rebranding an existing charter program, Cascade Midway Academy, near their home south of Seattle.

Alberto E. Rodriguez

The philanthropic, celebrity couple stress this has nothing to do with the politically charged social choice issue of charter schools. It has everything to do with helping out the Cascade school founders, Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield, and supporting their dream of opening the school this year, a dream that had to shelved like everything else in 2020 due to COVID-19.

After reaching out to the non-profit foundation, and learning of their plight, Wilson and Ciara were moved to forge a partnership with the duo who said the superstar couple's generosity will be honored with the school's name change to Why Not You Academy. Wilson and Ciara won't be involved in the school's day-to-day operations.

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Wilson and Ciara said they wanted to go all in on the opportunity to help launch the school. It focuses on academics, personalized student plans and internships and mentorships for under served Black and brown students. The couple said they hope this will be the first of many Why Not You Academy sites across the country.

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The Why Not You Academy is expected to open in fall 2021, just as the deadline to authorize new charter schools is set to expire in the state.

Washington currently has 12 charter schools open with 3,639 students, according to records from the state education department. Washington's charter law allows for up to 40 publicly funded, privately run charter schools to set up by 2021.