Dr. Dre isn’t too cool for school.
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According to the Los Angeles Times, the rapper is partnering with music executive, Jimmy Iovine to open a high school in South Los Angeles. Dr. Dre and Jimmy, who both recall “really hating” school, hope the project will motivate students to excel and become “critical thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators.”
When asked what type of students he hopes to reach, Dr. Dre responded, “The inner-city kid, the younger me… That guy that didn’t have an opportunity, that had to scratch and figure out things on his own,” he said, referring to his younger-self. “That had the curiosity but didn’t have these type of opportunities, really smart kids — we want to touch and give them this open door and these opportunities to be able to show what they can do.”
The high school, currently referred to as Regional High School No. 1, is slated to open fall 2022 and serve an area of South L.A. that sees many Black, Latino and low-income students struggle with low achievement. Due to the low success rates, many families in the area opt to send their children to schools in other districts in hopes of better success.
While Dr. Dre and Jimmy hope the school will provide opportunity for youth within the area, it has also been deemed a “magnet school,” meaning students from various districts are eligible to apply. While L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutnerwill says it has potential to attract many as “the coolest high school in America,” Iovine made it clear, “this is no music school or Hip Hop High.”
Cirriculum will be centered around specific skills that can turn into job opportunities for students, post-graduation. The institution will receive guidance from experts at USC Academies, who have seen success running similar programs.
“This is something new and different that might excite the kids and make them want to go to school,” Dr. Dre said. “I had no idea this is where my life and career was gonna go, and everything that I’ve been doing throughout my career ... was gonna lead to this, all those things a stepping stone to get here. Is this what it’s supposed to be? The, you know, the Big Bang? Hopefully it is.”
Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine join the list of other celebrities who have started school including Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns and stand-out basketball star, LeBron James.