The Bad Boy Records boss unveiled plans for his own charter school earlier this year (16), and on Monday (29Aug16), he was on hand at the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially declare the building open.
"I'm excited to be here," Diddy told the new student body. "This is the start of something important."
Growing up in Harlem I always had a dream of opening a school with a leadership curriculum for our inner city youth. Through the grace of God and the support of the Harlem community my dream came true. I'm going from me to we!! I would like to thank Harlem, all my children in the school and the staff for making it happen!! #letsGO #CapitalPrepHarlem
A photo posted by PUFF DADDY (@iamdiddy) on
Offering a few words of encouragement to the kids, he added, "You could have to be a dream to be a doctor, a rapper, an engineer. After you have that dream, you have to actually open your eyes and handle the reality of what it's gonna take for you to achieve that dream."
Combs began developing the school idea five years ago, when he discussed his plans with educator Dr. Steve Perry, who founded the similar Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut.
"I will tell you, I spent a considerable amount of time saying, 'Are you sure you want to do this?'," Perry recalled to the local ABC News. "'Because once we go public with this thing, people are going to question both of us.'"
Perry will help to oversee the school, which will provide free public education for children in grades six through 12.
When Diddy announced the opening of the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School in March (16), he declared: "Creating this school is a dream come true for me. 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. Every young person should have the tools they need to succeed. All our children should be able to pursue their dreams. That is something I can impact with this school."
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