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Pharrell Visits Hometown and Encourages Students to Chase Their Dreams

"Happy" singer offers encouraging words to high school students

Pharrell Williams continues to prove that he has a million and one reasons to be happy, as the Grammy Award winner recently visited his hometown Virginia Beach where the city’s mayor, Will Sessoms, granted him the Key to the City and declared June 7, 2014 as “Pharrell Williams Day.”

In addition to getting some overwhelming hometown love, Williams also returned to his alma mater, Princess Anne High School, to give a few encouraging words to students and to kick off his non-profit, From One Hand to AnOTHER’s, partnership with Everfi, Inc, which will provide digital learning opportunities for students in FOHTA’s summer camp.

“The one thing I would encourage you to do is never say ‘wanna’ just say ‘gonna,’ Williams tells the student. “Because it works. Put it out there, figure out what the blueprint is … and you can do it.”

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Williams clearly knows all about finding the blueprint to success and going after it, as his time at PAHS is where his music career started. As a student, the “Happy” singer was a member of the marching band where he met his production partner Chad Hugo. Together, with friends Shay Haley and Mike Etheridge, they created the group Neptunes and the rest is history.

Williams also spoke to the students and faculty about the love and support that his high school teachers provided him and the lasting impact that it’s had on his success.

“Life is like a mosaic. It’s a bunch of pieces,” Williams says. “I’m just one piece. The rest of the pieces are my teachers.”

Watch the video below of Pharrell’s inspiring Virginia Beach visit.