Virginia Beach, VA

The Virginia Beach singer who is giving away millions

Ash Jurberg

In order to spread more good news in 2023, I have been writing about people and organizations giving back to the community.

Readers enjoy seeing uplifting, positive stories. So today, I wanted to write about a man born and raised in Virginia Beach and the good he is doing for the community.

His name is Pharrell Williams- let's take a quick look at his story.

The Virginia Beach singer

Pharrell Williams was born in Virginia Beach in 1975.

Williams grew up in Virginia Beach in the Seatack neighborhood and attended Princess Anne High School, where he joined the school band and graduated in 1991. Williams attended Northwestern University for two years before dropping out to pursue a career in music.

Since then, he has had a string of hit songs- as a singer, producer, and songwriter, won 13 Grammy awards and was nominated for two Academy Awards. His music credentials are well-publicized.

Williams' success in music has led him to great success and fortune, and he has been generous in giving some of this back.


Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams is no stranger to philanthropy, especially when it comes to serving kids and focusing on education.”

Much of William's charity has been focused on children and education.

In 2008, he set up From One Hand to Another, which hosted Summer Camps for low-income students to "provide educational S.T.E.A.M.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Motivation) related tools needed for the future success of children."

In 2011, the "artist poured $35 million into the Pharrell Williams Resource Center, which provides a space for underprivileged Virginia Beach students to stay after school and study." 

He also started an educational non-profit in 2020 named Yellow.

Yellow aims "to even the odds for all youth through education." There are plans to open locations providing pre-K through workforce education throughout the Hampton Roads region, with one already open in Norfolk.

We need our teachers to be able to reach every kid that they put their eyes on. We need kids to walk away feeling inspired.” Pharell Williams

Another non-profit initiative Williams launched is Black Ambition, which aims to support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs. Black Ambition provides applicants with resources and access to a network of business leaders. Last year they offered applicants up to $1 million. It is expected applications will open again later this year.

With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources.” Pharell Williams

And when COVID hit in early 2020, Williams was quick to help, supplying Sentara Healthcare with 8,000 face masks and the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office with 200 masks.

Other organizations he has supported include:

A lot of his charity work has been done silently, writing out large checks and staying behind the scenes. But whether his donations receive media attention or are made anonymously, one thing is for sure; he is passionate about his hometown of Virginia Beach.

Your thoughts

What do you think of Pharell Williams' charity? What organizations in Virginia Beach would you like to see him support?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and share this article with others so they can join the conversation.

Comments / 21

Published by

Writing on business and local events. Follow me for the latest updates.

San Antonio, TX

More from Ash Jurberg

Comments / 0