P. Diddy pays surprise visit to Bronx charter school he donated $1M toward opening

Sean "Diddy" Combs speaks at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Sean “Diddy” Combs speaks at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Photo Adrian Childress

Sean Combs — known professionally for a multitude of stage names including “P. Diddy” and “Puff Daddy” — surprised students at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School this afternoon to promote an education-forward message for the upcoming school year. 

Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Photo Adrian Childress

Combs was greeted with yells of glee and high fives from the room of about 150 students at Capital Prep’s new campus in Co-op City, which opened during the pandemic in 2020 after the rapper donated $1 million to the school.

“I know that that’s a cure for what’s going on in our community — is education,” Combs said at the school Tuesday afternoon. “We worked together as brothers.” 

Sean "Diddy" Combs speaks at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Sean “Diddy” Combs speaks at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Photo Adrian Childress

The Capital Preparatory School system, serving kids in grades 6-9, aims to provide historically disadvantaged students college and career readiness skills, according to the school’s website. There are four campuses in the northeast — two in New York and two in Connecticut.

Isaiah Brown, the principal of the Bronx location, spoke about the challenges of opening during the pandemic. 

“It was very difficult for everyone who was invested with the stakeholders in our school, who come to our school, (and) who visit our school,” Brown said. 

But, he said, the Capital Prep community persevered through that period and came out on top.

Steve Perry, the head of the Capital Prep School system, was also in attendance at the Bronx location on Tuesday.

Isaiah Brown speaks during Sean "Diddy" Combs' visit at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Isaiah Brown speaks during Sean “Diddy” Combs’ visit at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Photo Adrian Childress
Steve Perry speaks during Sean "Diddy" Combs' visit at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Steve Perry speaks during Sean “Diddy” Combs’ visit at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Photo Adrian Childress

According to the school, Combs spent five years meeting with educators and community members about expanding academic opportunities for school-aged kids. The rapper now serves as an adviser and financial supporter of the institution. 

Since the Capital Preparatory School system graduated its first class in 2006, 100% of its low-income, minority and first-generation students have been accepted into four-year colleges, according to the school. 

Students speak during Sean "Diddy" Combs' visit at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022.
Students speak during Sean “Diddy” Combs’ visit at Capital Preparatory Bronx Charter School on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Photo Adrian Childress

Combs emphasized the importance of work ethic and education when speaking to the kids Tuesday.  

“You can dream of all the big things you want in the world, but you’re going to have to work to get it,” he said.

-Adrian Childress contributed to this report

Reach Camille Botello at [email protected]. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes

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