HARLEM — Music mogul turned charter school co-founder Sean Combs cut the ribbon Monday on the first semester at the East Harlem facility.
Combs, formerly known on stage as P Diddy and Puff Daddy, was surrounded by hundreds of students at the ceremony to open the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School, according to The New York Daily News.
“Great schools and great education make a big difference,” said Combs, according to the paper.
“Unfortunately, too many people don’t get the opportunity to succeed, no matter how hard they try. This is leveling the playing field here at Capital Prep.”
For its first year, the school enrolled 176 students in sixth and seventh grades from a lottery of about 1,000 applicants, according to the paper.
Combs announced the extension of his entrepreneurial portfolio — beyond rapping, producing records and designing clothes — to operating a charter school in his birthplace this past March.
The Harlem school will share a building with El Museo Del Bario at 1 E. 104th St., adjacent to Central Park. It will offer an 11-month curriculum to reduce “summer learning loss,” according to the school’s website.
Eventually, students through grade 12 will attend the school, school Principal Danita Jones told DNAinfo New York earlier this year.
Representatives for the school did not return multiple requests for comment Tuesday.
The school will be managed by Capital Prep leader Steven Perry, who in 2005 founded the Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut.
Combs told The Associated Press earlier this year that creating the charter school is “a dream come true.”
Combs attended Howard University, but dropped out after two years. The university awarded him an honorary degree in 2014.
Capital Prep states on its website that its mission is to “provide historically disadvantaged students with the college and career readiness skills needed to become responsible and engaged citizens for social justice.”