Entertainer Steve Harvey recalls how he came to work with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson to develop educational programs for inner city youth, thanks to the help of then-President-Elect Donald Trump.
Harvey accepted an invitation from Trump and met with the president-elect back in January. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Harvey recalls the meeting – and how he told Trump that, even though he campaigned for Hillary Clinton, he wanted to help President Trump:
“We talked about golf for 20 minutes. And then I told him, ‘Mr. President, I'm going to be honest with you, I didn't vote for you. I campaigned very hard for Hillary Clinton. But now that you're here, you're the 45th president and I'm going to help you.’”
Harvey told Trump he wanted to help Carson obtain first-hand accounts of the “real needs” of inner city youth:
“He wants to know how, so I say, ‘You've appointed Ben Carson as the head of Housing and Urban Development, and I've got keys to a lot of cities around this country from the years of performing that I've done. I can get an ear to them really quick and find out what their real needs are.’
“‘Y'all keep closing schools in the cities. Why don't we take those schools that are closing, put some HUD money in them, and reopen them as vision centers and teach STEM and computers and coding? If you connect me with Ben Carson, I can help him with that.’”
“A few minutes later, he had Ben Carson on the phone,” Harvey recalled.
As a result of Trump’s introduction, Harvey says he and Carson have worked together to create educational centers for inner-city youth, the first of which will be introduced by year’s end:
“I've been to HUD twice. I've met with Dr. Carson and we're actually trying to get it started. We've had meetings, and now we're just waiting on the final notes. We have several teams in place.
“Hopefully before the year goes out, we'll be making the announcement about the first vision center.”