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Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

Rapper Vic Mensa And AT&T Team Up To Give Backpacks To South Side Students

“This will definitely help us," one Auburn Gresham mother said.

Chicago rapper Vic Mensa gave away backpacks in Chatham Friday.
Lee Edwards/ Block Club Chicago
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CHATHAM — Startretey Williams’ two daughters are ready to go back to school thanks to the generosity of Chicago rapper Vic Mensa and AT&T’s backpack giveaway Friday evening in Chatham. 

Vic Mensa himself was on hand for the event, which aimed to give out 100 backpacks, at the AT&T Cottage Grove Store, 8685 S. Cottage Grove Ave. Williams traveled from the Auburn Gresham neighborhood to receive two new backpacks filled with school supplies.

“This will definitely help us and it will definitely help the community,” Williams said. “We’re excited for everything that they’re doing in the community.”

Vic Mensa and AT&T teamed on the backpack giveaway ahead of the 89th Annual Bud Billiken Parade Saturday.

Vic Mensa, whose real name is Victor Mensah, grew up in Hyde Park and graduated from Whitney Young Magnet Academy, a CPS high school on the Near West Side. At the event, Vic Mensa said he is keenly aware some CPS students need more help than others — students at majority black schools don’t receive the same help that students at a majority white school would get.

“This is impactful because we are on the South Side of Chicago and although everyone has to go back to school not everybody has the same access to resources,” said Vic Mensa, who co-founded nonprofit Save Money Save Life.

Phil Hayes, a spokesperson for AT&T, said the company has previously worked with the rapper to tackle other issues in the community. 

“We are excited when we see someone of Vic’s stature come out here and give his time and energy concerning consideration to the community,” Hayes said.