P ‘Diddy’ pledges $1 million to open Bronx charter school

P ‘Diddy’ pledges $1 million to open Bronx charter school
AP Images/ Chris Pizzello

Technically he’s not from the Bronx, but that didn’t stop rap legend Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ from pledging one million dollars to open a charter school in the borough on Tuesday, October 23.

Diddy is partnering with Capital Preparatory Schools network, which operates many charter schools from New York to Bridgeport, CT. The new branch will be called Capital Prep Bronx with a location as yet to be selected.

“I came from the same environment these kids live in every day,” Combs said following the announcement.

The new location, approved to open September 2019, will continue the network’s efforts to provide historically underserved communities’ access to the same high quality, competitive curriculum seen in other places.

“I understand the importance of access to a great education, and the critical role it plays in a child’s future. Our school provides historically disadvantaged students with the college and career skills needed to become responsible and engaged citizens for social justice,” Combs boasted.

Capital Prep Bronx will open to serve 160 students in 6th through 7th grade.

The school then plans to grow those numbers to eventually 650 students as 8th through 12th grades during an initial five-year term.

This announcement also represents an expansion in the partnership between Combs and renowned educator Dr. Steve Perry, founder of Capital Prep Schools.

“Mr. Combs’ commitment and leadership continue to inspire us. On behalf of the Capital Prep students, parents and teachers I want to express our sincerest gratitude for such a generous gift,” Dr. Perry said.

Perry went on to discuss that the families in the Bronx deserve a high-quality academic alternative to the current system.

Forty percent of Capital Prep applicants, approximately 600 students, come from the Bronx.

“There is a real need to serve students in this area. Mr. Combs wanted to open schools to develop leaders. What he’s done with his investment is embody what we expect students to do, which is to invest their resources in our communities,” Perry added.

Combs, a Harlem native and longtime proponent of education and opportunity for young people, worked closely with Dr. Perry to expand the school to new locations as well as build community support and enlist a team of educators, parents and business leaders to bring the idea to fruition. He attended Mount St. Michael High School.

He also is a generous benefactor.

“We don’t just teach kids to read, write and compute, we teach them how to make a difference and nurture them to be future leaders of our generation,” Combs said.

Previously in 2017, Capital Prep’s Bridgeport school had the highest percent of students to meet Connecticut’s growth goal.

It’s unique approach to educating ‘the whole child’ has delivered strong results, sending 100% of its low-income, minority, first- generation high school graduates to four-year colleges every year since its first class graduated at in 2006. In addition, 86% of these students remained in college through graduation.

To learn more about how to apply to attend, visit www.wearecapitalprep.org.