Sean “Diddy” Combs is following in Oprah’s footsteps. Well, sort of. The hip-hop mogul is opening a charter school in Harlem, according to a report by the Associated Press. Diddy was born in the New York City neighborhood and grew up in nearby Mt. Vernon, so the area clearly holds a special place in his heart.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) March 28, 2016
Sean “Diddy” Combs’ new school will be called Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, and it will open this fall. According to Rolling Stone, Combs has been working on launching a learning facility since 2011, and the rap mogul spent close to five years researching various education models. Dr. Steve Perry, who founded the Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut, 10 years ago, will oversee Combs’ new school. And in a definite Oprah connection, the Capital Prep Harlem board will include Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, the spiritual life coach who has worked closely with the media mogul and even has her own show on Oprah Winfrey’s network OWN.
Diddy has described his new venture as “a dream come true,” and it’s sure to be a dream come true for the lucky students selected to attend. The official site describes Capital Prep Harlem as a free public school for grades 6-12 that will provide a “year-round, college preparatory education” for its students. College courses will even be available to students once they are in the upper high school grades. Capital Prep’s mission is to provide “disadvantaged Harlem students with skills necessary for college and careers. ”
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) March 28, 2016
There will only be 160 slots at Sean “Diddy” Combs’ school in its first year, and they will be in the junior high (6th and 7th grade) level. One grade will be added each year until the facility is fully enrolled with 700 students up through 12th grade. Capital Prep, which is currently accepting applications for 6th and 7th graders, will be located at East 104th St and 5th Ave. in East Harlem in the same building as El Museo Del Barrio and Museum of the City of New York.
Sean “Diddy” Combs is one busy guy, but it clearly meant a lot to him to add “educator” to his resume. Diddy has been doing double duty preparing for the Capital Prep Harlem launch while juggling a jillion other jobs. Not only was Sean Combs the highest-earning hip-hop star in 2015 at $60 million (in addition to his music career, Diddy’s partnerships and investments include Ciroc vodka, AQUAhydrate water, RevoltTV, and his successful Sean John clothing line), but he was working towards getting his charter school off the ground for the past five years.
In a statement posted by Billboard, Sean Combs said he hoped to make a big impact on young people in his New York hometown.
“I want to impact the lives of young people in my community, and build future leaders. “The first step is offering access to a quality education.”
Sean Combs attended Howard University before quitting college after two years to work on his rap career, but he was given an honorary doctorate degree from the university in 2014. And while he’s best known for his big bucks deals, Diddy told the Washington Post he wants to be known for something much more.
“One of the things I try to tell people, and tell myself, is that I don’t want to be known as the person who made the most money. I want to be known as the person who gave the most money away.”
Take a look at the video below for more on Sean “Diddy” Combs’ big announcement.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]