Celebrities ranging from athletes to artists have made themselves stand out not only on their specific professional setting but in the humanitarian aspect as well. Lately, the interest in the development of the educational sector has sprouted and more and more celebrities have shown concern for the progress of such sector and have contributed economically to a wide range of scholastic projects, including the opening of Charter Schools across the country.
The emerge of celebrities opening charter schools, though still in the rise, started a couple of years ago. Since 2013, Pitbull has been known as Mr. Education. He started by opening a public charter school for students in grades six through 12 named “The Sports Leadership And Management Academy (SLAM)” in Miami, which focuses on sports management, marketing, and media. Nowadays, 10 SLAM schools operate in four states:
Florida, Nevada, Texas, and Georgia. This grabbed the attention of the famous rapper Kanye West. He visited Pitbull’s SLAM school in Little Havana and documented his visit to the school.
Having celebrities with a high number of followers help create awareness and promote the involvement of the economically privileged to the educational sector.
The Los Angeles Lakers star, Lebron James, has built alongside the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron City Schools, a Public school in his hometown Ohio. The school launched with a group of third and fourth graders and has plans to expand through eighth grade by 2022.
James stated that his inspiration to open a school came from his rough childhood when he was unable to attend several days of school due to lack of transportation in his family.
Another NBA Star who contributes in scholastic aid is Magic Johnson. The Lakers legend partnered in 2011 with for-profit EdisonLearning Inc to promote dropout recovery centers.
Even though Johnson and the company parted separate ways, the Bridgeescape schools have expanded and are still operating in several states. The end goal is to reduce dropout rates in urban areas, according to Johnson.
Additionally, the performer and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs founded the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School in his neighborhood in New York. “Great schools and great education make a big difference,” said Combs. With this mentality came the school’s mission, which is to “provide historically disadvantaged students with the college and career readiness skills needed to become responsible and engaged citizens for social justice.” This sums up the main motivation and intent these celebrities have when they decide to add to their entrepreneurial portfolio the act of opening a school or any kind of educational program.
When these philanthropic efforts are combined, we start seeing the great impact celebrities can have outside their professional area. These types of synergistic actions are creating a big difference, especially in the building of a future with more opportunities for those less fortunate.