ISSAQUAH – Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Grammy award-winning Ciara, were joined today by local Foster High School students at the King County Library System’s (KCLS) Tukwila Library to unveil two limited-edition library cards featuring the pair, and to celebrate the launch of DREAM BIG: Anything is Possible, a new teen empowerment campaign and scholarship program.
The campaign—developed by Russell Wilson and Ciara’s Why Not You Foundation in partnership with KCLS, KCLS Foundation and JPMorgan Chase—encourages high school students to utilize the wide range of teen programs and resources offered through KCLS libraries, to help students achieve their own big dreams.
Wilson asked, “Why not you?” to the students who gathered for the campaign launch. “Believing that you can do something great, means you will do something great,” he told them, with Ciara adding, “Libraries offer you a wide range of opportunities to explore and gain knowledge, which is your power. Knowledge will lead you on your way in life and help you succeed in whatever you choose to do.”
“We are so grateful and honored that the Why Not You Foundation and JPMorgan Chase have chosen to help KCLS in its continuing efforts to support education and learning—particularly when it comes to teens,” said KCLS Executive Director Lisa Rosenblum. “The Library System values and promotes the quest of knowledge, providing programs and services that lead to personal growth and the pursuit of everyone’s potential. Young people are always welcome at libraries, knowing they can access information and opportunities and even form friendships that will help them live their best lives. Our Teen Voices programming, scholarships and these very special limited-edition library cards are all part of KCLS’ effort to help teens DREAM BIG.”
With growing evidence, that students’ academic success is linked to library usage—including improved student retention and an enhanced academic experience—the five-month campaign is designed around three core components:
Limited-edition Library Cards Featuring Ciara & Russell Wilson
The free all-access KCLS library cards—a centerpiece of the campaign—are available to King County residents through June 2019 while supplies last. The cards can be found at KCLS libraries (serving 36 King County cities and 18 school districts) and JPMorgan Chase branches throughout King County. Beyond books, the KCLS library cards provide students with access to resources and teen programs for immediate- and long-term success.
The one-of-a-kind library cards were designed by renowned local artist Keegan Hall, whose celebrated photo-realistic drawings of sports, entertainment and public figures have earned Hall widespread acclaim. Hall combines detailed black-and-white pencil drawings of Ciara and Russell Wilson with vivid dream-inspired digital color imagery floating in clouds symbolic of the campaign theme. The individual cards are designed to be separate, but when placed side by side the cards fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. For information about the meaning behind the cards’ imagery, visit WhyNotYouFdn.org/DREAMBIG.
Programs to Empower Youth with Skills, Confidence and Role Models
The campaign promotes and encourages participation in a wide variety of KCLS programs including STEAM education, homework help, coding classes, ESL support, SAT prep and more—including Teen Voices, a multi-week program that is designed to motivate, empower and prepare high school students to be tomorrow’s leaders, and to equip them with the skills, tools, confidence and mentors they need for future success. The DREAM BIG campaign funds the program expansion to five additional KCLS libraries in Auburn, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Kent and Renton.
Why Not You Scholarship Program
Ciara and Russell Wilson also announced $100,000 in Why Not You Scholarships to help students achieve their post-secondary educational dreams. The Why Not You Foundation, in partnership with the College Success Foundation, is currently in search of King County students to be inaugural Why Not You Scholars. Eight Why Not You Scholars will be announced this spring. Four students will receive $20,000 scholarships ($5,000 per year for four years) to attend a four-year public institution, and four will receive $5,000 scholarships ($2,500 per year for two years) to attend a community college or trade school. Applications and selection criteria will be available at WhyNotYouFdn.org/DREAMBIG beginning March 1, with an application deadline of midnight on March 31. Scholarship recipients will be notified in May.
ABOUT KING COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM
Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest public library systems in the country. Serving the communities of King County (outside the City of Seattle), KCLS currently has 49 libraries and more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2011, KCLS was named Library of the Year by Gale/Library Journal. In 2018, residents checked out more than 4.8 million digital eBooks and audiobooks, making KCLS the #1 digital circulating library in the U.S. and #3 in the world. www.kcls.org
King County Library System Media Contacts:
Sarah Thomas, 425.369.3277, email@example.com
Julie Acteson, 425.369.3273, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Event photos and video are available upon request.