Russell Wilson, Ciara to help fund charter school ‘Why Not You Academy’


Russell Wilson will soon fulfill a lifelong dream.

The Seahawks quarterback and his wife will soon help launch a charter school south of Seattle.

Through their Why Not You Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to education, children’s health and fighting poverty, the power couple will donate $1.75 million to rebrand an existing charter school currently known as Cascade Midway Academy.

“We’ve always held the belief that life’s successes start with a good education, but recognize that access isn’t always created equally for all," Russell and Ciara said in a press release. "The Why Not You Foundation was created with the concept of empowering youth to lead with a why not you attitude and that’s why it was important for our foundation to partner with Scott, Garth, and Cascade Public Schools to help open doors for kids from less fortunate backgrounds. This school is a longtime dream of ours and it was important for us to find a way to combine traditional classroom learning with community and mentorship-based activities, in order to prepare kids for the real world. Why Not You is based on the idea that it can start with one and our hope is that this school will be the first of many.”

Per Sally Ho of The Associated Press, the Cascade high school program was expected to launch this year before the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing founders Garth Reeves and Scott Canfield to delay its opening.


In need of additional support, the founders reached out to Wilson’s foundation, who agreed to the partnership. The school’s name will undergo a familiar name change: Why Not You Academy.

“I’m really confident...about the team that we have here and how we’re building things out,” Ciara told AP. 

We’re passionate about everything. We’re all in on this.

- Ciara told AP

When asked about the Wilsons’ latest philanthropic efforts, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he was impressed by their selfless gesture to make the world a better place.

“Russell has assembled a team around him that has allows him to really act on the heart that he has,” Carroll said during Wednesday's Seahawks availability. “Russ has assembled a team to really support his care, love for doing the good work and you’ve got to admire the heck out of him. Both he and Ciara, their way about them, really giving loving people, and so where they can find ways to do stuff, they do it. I don’t know, it’s an unmatchable desire to just be active, to be mindful and thoughtful and caring...

I just marvel at how well they are able to do that.

- Pete Carroll on Russell and Ciara

The Why Not You Academy will open its doors in the fall of 2021.