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Magic Johnson Announces Friends of Magic

Magic Johnson is on a one-man mission to solve the nationwide high school dropout crisis, but he needs your help.

On Thursday, Johnson announced an initiative called Friends of Magic, which is a network of mentors, volunteers and companies dedicated to helping at-risk students and high school dropouts obtain an education, graduate and transform their lives.

Chicago rapper Common was introduced as the first “Friend” during a press conference. He has pledged to help Friends of Magic with his own nonprofit, Common Ground Foundation.

“When you take time to give back, it’s really saying something,” says Common, who also stars on AMC’s “Hell on Wheels.” “We know in Chicago, we have to give back. We all want to stop this violence.”

Magic Johnson became emotional during the press conference after hearing the success story of one of the students in his Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy, which provides an alternative education to students seeking their high-school diplomas.

“God is so good. All you want to do is help these incredible young people achieve their goals in life,” the basketball icon and mogul said. “I’ve been so blessed in my life. I’m just trying to give back to the same community I came from. This is what it’s all about.”

According to Friends of Magic, there is a 21-percent non-graduation rate nationwide, yet 74 percent of dropouts said they’d stay in school if given the chance. The goal of Johnson’s organization is to give these students a second chance and help them succeed by providing “educational resources, internships and real-world experience.”

“Every time we’re in the paper or TV, it’s about something bad happening in our community,” Johnson says. “But today, it’s something good.”

Friends of Magic is looking for people and companies with a history of giving back to the community, whether it’s through monetary donations or time. To learn more about Friends of Magic, click HERE.