from: Regan Porter, Heidi Schmidt
Published: May 26, 2023 / 5:35 PM PDT
Updated: May 26, 2023 / 5:35 PM PDT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — North Kansas City High School students got the surprise of a lifetime Friday morning.
Grammy-winning musician Alicia Keys shocked students Staley High School with free tickets to her concert in St. The “Empire State of Mind” singer is also covering transportation costs to the July 21 show.
Students learned about the concert during the last day of the school assembly when school officials played a recorded message from Keys.
Keys said it inspired her Unity Walk students retained as a classmate Ralph Yarl last month. The 16-year-old was shot by an 84-year-old man after Yarl went to the wrong home to pick up his siblings on April 13th.
“I was so moved by the demonstration of love, unity, support for our brother Ralph Yarl” Keys said. “I would like to invite the whole school to my keys for the summer tour on July 21st. I can’t wait to see you!”
Keys also personally invited Yarl to a concert earlier this month, according to reports TMJ. Yarl is currently at home and is expected to make a full recovery.
Keys’ gesture serves as a positive end to a difficult time for the students, who came together to support their classmate.
“It means a lot. When we were [participating in the Unity Walk], we all came together as a unit. Black, white — all races. Like, we all came together just to show our support,” said student KV Stone. “[Keys] she gave us a chance to go to her concert and I’m happy and everyone will have fun.”
All 2022-23 academic year students and staff at Staley HS are eligible for a ticket and transportation, according to the North Kansas City School District. Students 18 and older will receive one ticket, and those under 18 will receive two tickets: one for themselves and one for a guardian.