Friday, May 20, 2011

Nicki Minaj Goes Back to School

Nicki put her celebrity to very good use this week and surprised more than 400 students and acted as Principal for the Day” at Collins Academy High School in Chicago, USA. Her visit was one of the rewards for the students and teachers who won the Get MotivatED Challenge – a six week competition to improve daily attendance rates nationwide.

Nicki surprising the students

Minaj presented three exemplary students each with a fantastic $10,000 college scholarship from Comcast, helped teach a freshman English class and joined MTV’s Sway Calloway in a school assembly to celebrate the accomplishments of the students and teachers.

Nicki graduated from LaGuardia High School in New York City (aka ‘Fame’ where other alumni include Liza Minelli, Al Pacino and Jennifer Aniston) which she says influenced her career path and her commitment to giving back.

Sway and Nicki at assembly

Nicki said: “I am a young, female mogul before I am an artist. As a business woman there isn’t a single day where I don’t use my education or acquire new knowledge to ensure my success. Regardless of where you are today, with education you can take yourself where you want to be. That’s why I am working with the Get Schooled Foundation. They are finding innovative and exciting ways to bring that message to schools like the Collins Academy.”

What a fantastic initiative. Unfortunately it seems a lot of young people are more likely to be influenced by celebrity than traditional authority figures so if someone like Nicki turning up at school encourages them to stay in education then perhaps it’s something the UK should look to adopt.

At the school Nicki Minaj visited, throughout the six week competition, daily attendance improved by 7 percent and since the competition ended, they maintained a 92 percent attendance rate, positioning the school among the top of all Chicago’s high schools in terms of attendance.

Nicki with the students