Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara, the Grammy-winning singer, were honored at the 2021 Soul Train Awards with the Soul of Justice Award for their efforts to improve the quality of life for others. The couple’s donations toward improving education, children’s health and eliminating poverty were recognized during the ceremony, televised Sunday (Nov. 28).
In 2014, the power couple founded the Why Not You Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through education and empowering youth to lead with a “why not you” attitude. Its mission is to equip today’s youth with the skills and opportunities to become tomorrow’s leaders.
Through the foundation, Wilson and Ciara contributed about $1.75 million to rebrand an existing charter program known as Cascade Midway Academy near Seattle, the Associated Press reported. The high school program needed cash after the pandemic forced the administrators to delay the opening, which was set to happen before lockdowns began.
The couple seized the opportunity to support the school that focuses on academics, personalized student plans and internships and mentorships for underserved Black and brown students. It became the first, they hope of many, Why Not You Academy schools across the nation.
“I’m really confident...about the team that we have here and how we’re building things out,” Ciara said. “We’re passionate about everything. We’re all in on this.”
One of the couple’s latest philanthropic projects came in July, NBC Sports reported. The foundation, in collaboration with Safeway Albertsons, launched “Immuno Heros.” They launched a campaign to raise $3 million for Seattle Children’s Hospital immunotherapy program, which provides treatment and research to help kids with cancer.
Wilson, a Super Bowl winner with the Seahawks is one of the top 20 most charitable athletes in the world, according to Money Inc. He’s not only generous with money but also his time. Wilson spends personal time visiting young patients at the Seattle Children’s Hospital.