At the end of August, 2016, Sean “Diddy” Combs presided over the opening of Capital Preparatory School in Harlem. For years, Combs had a dream and a goal to improve education in Harlem. He chose to partner with Dr. Steve Perry, the founder of Capitol Prep in Hartford, Connecticut to open a school that would best suit kids in the East Harlem area. Since 2011, the two worked to build a school that would empower students who are typically marginalized and live in low-income areas. The Board of Trustees, chaired by Derek Ferguson, also includes Iyanla Vanzant and Rev. Georgiette Morgan-Thomas. They also wanted to provide a great prep school education to the youth of the area.
“Great schools and great education make a big difference,” Combs told the cheering crowd. “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.”
On opening day, Combs gave an inspiring speech, and cut the ribbon to herald the opening of the school. However, the students and staff, led by Principal Danita Jones, were just starting the hard work! The mission statement of Capital Prep Harlem is “to provide historically disadvantaged students with the college and career readiness skills needed to become responsible and engaged citizens for social justice.” By all accounts, the first year met that mission statement. The school year is ending on June 23, 2017, and its first year has been successful, but the school is still growing.
Athletic programs, academic clubs, and a Gifted & Talented program are still growing and developing. There are plans to continue to grow and develop more extracurricular activities. However, the challenging curriculum at Capital Prep is setting students on the right path to success! If you want to take part in empowering these students, you can donate or apply to volunteer, here!