Two years ago, “Started From the Bottom” singer Drake opened his heart – and his wallet – to a troubled Philadelphia high school in need, donating a music studio costing more than $75,000.
Now, after a budgetary struggle to find a music teacher combined with the school’s violent history, the Strawberry Mansion High School music studio is finally up and running – and the students couldn't be more thrilled.
"Many of them don't have very many other reasons to be excited about coming to school," the new instructor, Ben Diamond, told the Associated Press. "To be able to give them an outlet for things they want to express is very special."
The Toronto, Ont. rapper decided to get involved after viewing an ABC News report in 2013, which focused on the high school’s violent crime rate and the poor academic record of its inner-city student population.
While he was in town for a concert tour, "Drizzy" surprised the community by inviting them to a private gathering before a show, where he announced his plans.
"This is about you. This is about your principal. This is about your future," Drake said. "I love you. I care about you. I want to see you succeed.”
Considered to be one of the poorest and most violent schools in the city, Strawberry Mansion had been on the State of Pennsylvania’s list of "persistently dangerous high schools” for 62 years. In 2013 it was finally taken off the list – the same year that the ABC News report aired.
Nearly 80 students have signed up for the studio production class so far.