Pharrell Williams Comes Home, Speaks About the Importance of Education At His Alma Mater, Receives Key to the City of Virginia Beach

Pharrell Williams recently returned home to Virginia Beach to headline Z104’s Shaggfest and spent the day encouraging local students in his From One Hand to AnOTHER program and his alma mater Princess Anne High School to make their dreams reality. Pharrell honored at High School homecoming event with Key to the City and a state proclamation to make June 7 Pharrell Williams Day in the state of Virginia.

The Princess Anne event was attended by 800 students, administrators and community officials, and included Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and state delegate Ron Villanueva.  The school band, where it all started for Pharrell, played “Happy” as he entered the gymnasium.  Pharrell spoke on the importance of education, and honored his teachers, in particular his Band Teacher Alan Sharps, who was also in attendance. “Often times you hear celebrities say…’My teachers never thought I was never gonna be anything or they told me I couldn’t do it…so look at me now.’ But that wasn’t my experience. My teachers here at P.A. kept telling me I could.”  Pharrell encouraged kids to “Pay attention” in school. “This is what I want for all of you, I want you to have the same encouragement that I did. The one thing I would encourage you to do is never say ‘wanna’ just say ‘gonna.’ Because it works. Put it out there, figure out what the blueprint is…and you can do it.”

Pharrell also called for higher wages for teachers and pay equality between women and men teachers. Learn more about Pharrell‘s philanthropic efforts at

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