Imagine Dragons, Michael B. Jordan, Aaron Paul Raise Over $1M for Education

Courtesy of Slate PR
Imagine Dragons Performs at City Year Spring Break's Annual Benefit

The annual City Year Spring Break bash at Sony Studios raised a record-breaking $1.6 million for the organization, which mentors at-risk students.

Hollywood made a powerful presence on Saturday night in support of education as stars flocked to Sony Studios for City Year LA's sixth annual Spring Break: Destination Education bash. 

Hosted by City Year board member Octavia Spencer with event co-chair and 20th Century Fox co-chair Stacey Snider, the Sony Studios Commissary Lawn became a hotspot for celebs including Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Keegan-Michael Key, Allison Janney, Derek and Julianne Hough, Yara Shahidi, Sophia Bush, Aaron Paul and Mischa Barton. 

The fundraiser proved quite successful, raising a record $1.6 million for City Year while promoting the importance of education for tweens and teens. Angela Bassett was among the celebs who brought their kids to explore interactive booths for virtual graffiti, obstacle courses and sports games courtesy of sponsors Snapchat, Disney/ABC Television Group, DreamWorks Animation, Aramark and more.

The funds raised go to City Year, which with its participating AmeriCorps members around the country mentor close to 10,000 at-risk students to keep them on track for graduation. The organization continuously receives support from A-listers including Spencer, who deeply resonated with the City Year’s message. The actress, who has now upped her dedication to the nonprofit as a board member, has told The Hollywood Reporter in the past that education was her own way out of poverty.

The message also stuck with many of the celeb attendees, including New Girl’s Max Greenfield, who told THR that guiding his 6-year-old daughter through her educational journey has become the main inspiration in his life. 

“Watching her, you really start to go, 'Please don’t make the same mistakes I made, please,'" said the actor. "It’s forcing me to really catch up on everything I missed when I was younger, so when she comes home and starts to ask me questions, I have some answers and don’t have to Wikipedia everything."

The annual event keeps Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul returning every year as a City Year supporter as well. 

“There was never a part of me that wanted to give up on school,” he said. “I never saw that as an option. I always knew I had to finish school. There are a lot of kids out there that see it as an option to just walk away.”

The young adults who serve as the AmeriCorps of City Year donned their signature red and yellow jackets while pumping up guests, cheering them on as they entered the venue. City Year LA’s executive director Mary Jane Stevenson took the stage mid-event to stress that their influence in changing the lives of students who live only miles away from many of the night’s guests is crucial.

The party lasted into the night, featuring a closing acoustic performance from Imagine Dragons, proving that as Paul stressed, it’s cool to “stay in school.”

From left: Octavia Spencer, Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett (courtesy of Slate PR).