Sean Combs, the hip-hop mogul known as Diddy, steered the creation of the Capital Prep Harlem school, scheduled to open in fall 2016, he said on Monday.
In a statement, Mr. Combs, who was born in Harlem, said creating the school was “a dream come true for me.”
The charter school was approved by the Board of Regents in 2014, but Mr. Combs’s involvement had not been previously publicized. The school will replicate the model of Capital Preparatory Magnet, a year-round school in Hartford that says it has high graduation and college acceptance rates.
According to the Associated Press, Combs’ new school, Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, will open this fall. The founder of Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut, Dr. Steve Perry, will oversee the school while Orlando, Florida-based educator Danita Jones will be its inaugural principal. Combs has described this opportunity as “a dream come true.”
Combs began working towards the launch of a school in 2011, having spent years searching for the best education model before discovering Perry’s Capital Prep program. Combs and Perry have been privately meeting with community leaders and education experts to establish the program. The school’s board includes Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, the author and spiritual life coach who has worked frequently with Oprah Winfrey, and Reverend Georgiette Morgan-Thomas.
According the school’s official site, Capital Prep Harlem is a free, public school for grades 6-12. It will provide a “year-round, college preparatory education” and make college courses available to students once in high school. For its first year, 160 students will be enrolled in 6th and 7th grades. The deadline to apply for the upcoming school year is April 1st. Its board recently announced the location of the school, located on the museum mile stretch in East Harlem in the same building as El Museo Del Barrio and Museum of the City of New York.