Out of all the commendable charitable contributions public figures make, it says a lot when one can go back to where they grew up and start a school for the kids. Sean “Diddy” Combs has done that, and his charter school, Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School in Harlem, New York, is finally open and ready to create leaders out of the inner city youth.
As Combs pointed out in a speech to students and reporters, according to the New York Daily News, children need more opportunities to attend better schools in order to level the playing field and reach success.
“Great schools and great education make a big difference,” he said. “Unfortunately, too many people don’t get the opportunity to succeed, no matter how hard they try. This is leveling the playing field here at Capital Prep.”
Combs partnered with educator Dr. Steve Perry, who is behind the successful Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. Capital Preparatory in Harlem, which chose its current student body at random from 1,000 applicants, has about 176 students in sixth and seventh grades for the first year of classes. According to school officials, they want to enroll around 700 students for grades 6-12 by 2021.
The school is five years in the making, so as it opened its doors yesterday for the first day of classes, Combs couldn’t help but be excited. “This is the start of something important,” he told New York’s ABC affiliate.
“Instead of me complaining about education,” he said to PIX11 after his address, “I want to do something about it. So that’s why I’m starting this school.”