drake, Drake donated studio, Drake donates a studio, Drake donates to school, education for Black youth, Entertainment, Low income schools, Meek Mill high school, Music, Strawberry Mansion High School -

Drake’s Studio Donation to a Troubled Philadelphia High School Gives Students a Much-Needed Creative Outlet

drake, Drake donated studio, Drake donates a studio, Drake donates to school, education for Black youth, Entertainment, Low income schools, Meek Mill high school, Music, Strawberry Mansion High School -

Drake’s Studio Donation to a Troubled Philadelphia High School Gives Students a Much-Needed Creative Outlet

Drake gives back to Philadelphia high schoolWhen Drake donated $75,000 to a troubled Philadelphia high school, the self-proclaimed legendary hip hop star gave Strawberry Mansion High School students much more than a new studio. According to the school’s beloved principal, Drake reminded the kids that they mattered and gave them a jolt of inspiration for their creative efforts.

Drake is arguably the most successful hip hop star in the game right now—smashing Billboard records, topping hip hop charts and earning critical acclaim from some of the most respected music publications.

While he may have deemed himself legendary, nobody has come forward to question that title and many, including Rolling Stone, believe Drake may have been absolutely right.

It’s a level of fame and status that has often led some Black stars to lose touch with their roots and leave them disconnected from the economic struggles many Black youth face today.

Drake has explored his own past and financial hardships throughout childhood in his music more than once so it’s no surprise that he is embracing his well-crafted lyrics through heartfelt gestures and giving back to communities that need it the most.

After seeing a story on the news about Strawberry Mansion High School, the same school rapper Meek Mill attended, the 28-year-old Toronto native was reportedly moved by their story.

It wasn’t just the challenges, however; it was the tough love principal as well.

The school faces serious budget problems and violent outbreaks were once the norm at the high school, but Principal Linda Cliatt-Wayman managed to turn that around.

While she was able to reduce violence in the halls, however, Wayman was unable to change the financial struggles of one of the city’s poorest schools in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods.

Back in 2013, Drake decided to invite members of the school community to a private gathering before his show. That’s when he announced he would be donating $75,000 to the school to help them complete a new studio for the students.

“This is about you. This is about your principal,” he said, according to the Huffington Post. “This is about your future. I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed.”

Drake’s donation made it possible for the school to bring in new equipment, clean the unused sound booths and give the studio a fresh coat of paint that helped transform it into a more welcoming space.

It was one of the rare moments that someone actually came through for the students.

“You have to prove everything to them,” Wayman said. “So many people disappoint them.”

Drake’s crew completed all the work for the studio last summer but it was only recently that the school managed to find an instructor for the new facility.

Ben Diamond, a part-time music teacher, stepped forward and the studio was finally open for the students to use.

Drake donates to Philadelphia high schoolOf course, students were skeptical at first.

The concept of “it’s too good to be true” kept students wary of the new studio rumors—that is until the studio produced its first track.

A junior by the name of Josiah Showell, who specializes in making beats, teamed up with freshman Zalmir Deputy on keyboards and senior rapper Jerrick Fripps to create the first track in the new studio.

It not only encouraged more than 50 more students to sign up for the studio production program, but it also served as a jolt of inspiration.

“The studio inspired me to bring out the love of music that I have inside me,” Showell said, according to The Huffington Post. “…Without the studio, no one would still know I do music.”

“Many of them don’t have very many other reasons to be excited about coming to school,” Diamond said. “To be able to give them an outlet for things they want to express is very special.”

The students hope Drake will come to visit the school some day after his generous gift, in the eyes of freshman Deputy, gave the students exactly what they needed.

 


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