Justin Timberlake gives shout out to Central Illinois students

By Erica Quednau | equednau@wcia.com

Published 04/16 2014 03:49PM

Updated 04/17 2014 11:45AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Justin Timberlake is giving some high school students some love. It's all thanks to a video they made earlier this year. It was initially just for Central and Centennial high schools' Black History Month assembly, but thanks to social media, thousands of people have been able to hear their message. WCIA-3's Erica Quednau explains. 

These Central and Centennial juniors and seniors are Eagle Scouts, volunteers and National Honor Society members, but a lot of times they don't get the recognition they deserve. Until now. 

"My students said, 'He didn't just retweet, Ms. Gholson, he tweeted it.' So that's exciting, I guess. I don't have Twitter," said Tiffany Gholson, a social worker at Central High School. 

She's talking about the tweet from Justin Timberlake. He wrote, "This. Is. Dope. I'm honored to be a soundtrack to this type of positivity. #enoughwiththestereotypes."

It was because the students used his song in their video. 

"Just the fact that he saw it and that he admired it so much, so that was just crazy," said Cedric Jones, a junior at Central. 

Now thanks to JT and his 31.8 million followers, their message is getting out to more people then they ever dreamed of. 

"We as African-American males can be smart and sophisticated in suits and ties and hopefully spread the message that, eventually, we shouldn't have to be in suits and ties to get respect," said Jones. 

No matter how they're dressed, the students are making a difference and that is all that matters. 

"Don't judge a book by its cover and hopefully give everybody a chance," said Jones. 

The students say getting Justin to notice their video is making them think even bigger now. They're hoping to get President Obama's attention next. Their video has more than 110,000 views on YouTube. 

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