It’s not every day that a Grammy Award-winning artist invests in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, so the news that Paine College students in Augusta, Georgia, learned during their 140th fall convocation on Friday is all the more noteworthy.
According to The Augusta Chronicle, singer-Goodie Mob member CeeLo Green collaborated with the private four-year university, as well as internet service provider Moolah Wireless, to gift all its Pell Grant students a free Android tablet that includes a year of free connectivity. They’re also eligible for the 32-gigabyte device if they participate in other federal plans, like public housing assistance or the National School Lunch Program.
Two weeks ago, rapper T.I., an investor in Moolah Wireless and a fellow Atlantan, got the ball of generosity rolling when he assisted in distributing the company’s tablets to students at Morris Brown College.
“We said, ‘OK, Atlanta has T.I. We have CeeLo,’” declared Paine College trustees board member J.R. Henderson, according to The Chronicle. “So we picked up the phone and called CeeLo Green and said, ‘You know something? We want to do exactly what we saw another college do.’”
While Green was unable to physically attend Friday’s convocation at Paine, The Chronicle reported on Aug. 5 that he’d paid a visit to the university the day before and spoke with more than 50 staff members and students about success and life lessons.
“The road is long and winding, and dim lit,” Green told them. “Life is not about the shortest distance between Point A and Point B; it is always about the scenic route. You have red lights, right and left turns, forks in the road and speed limits, so there are restrictions that could very well arrest your development.”
“There will be stations and rest stops,” he continued, “but don’t sleep, because time won’t wait.”
Green was appointed the distinguished artist-in-residence at Paine College in October. Since then, the acclaimed singer-songwriter-rapper has mentored students on a personal and professional level and even provided a performance for their Presidential Scholarship Gala, which helped generate money for their UNCF Scholarship campaign.
He said earlier this month that moving forward, while Paine students would remain focused on academics, they’d also be having discussions about purchasing land for future developments as he believes “there should be more outlets and more strings of income coming to Augusta.” Green is also interested in collaborating with Paine to provide a social media platform so its students will have an easier way to get in touch with him with questions and concerns, it was previously reported.
There is no denying that Green’s presence and influence are felt throughout Paine College. State Sen. Lester Jackson, a Paine trustee, contends that Green’s significant contribution to the campus goes far beyond money.
“His name, attached to Paine College, is a worldwide recognition that Paine College is here and existing. But, what’s more important is his influence with these young people,” Jackson told The Chronicle. “They know now that he’s given up his time, unselfishly, not for money, not for glory, not for fame, but because he cares.”
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