Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Nicki Minaj Surprises Students as "Principal...

Posted by User

Superstar Nicki Minaj surprised more than 400 students and acted as the "Principal for the Day" at Collins Academy High School.  Minaj's visit is one of many rewards for the students and teachers who won the Get MotivatED Challenge – a six week competition to improve daily attendance rates nationwide. Twenty-five schools in eleven cities vied for the title in the Challenge that used pop culture, technology and media to engage youth on the importance of coming to school.  

Minaj presented three exemplary students each with $10,000 college scholarships from Comcast, helped teach a freshman English class, and joined MTV's Sway Calloway in an all-school assembly to celebrate the students' and teachers' accomplishments.  Students saw the performer's serious side as she took over the class and led a lesson in English. Minaj's own education, she's a graduate of LaGuardia High School in New York City, influenced not just her career path but also her commitment to giving back.

Nicki Minaj said, "I am a young, female mogul before I am an artist. As a business woman there isn't a single day where I don't use my education or acquire new knowledge to ensure my success. Regardless of where you are today, with education you can take yourself where you want to be. That's why I am working with the Get Schooled Foundation. They are finding innovative and exciting ways to bring that message to schools like the Collins Academy."

Studies show that rate of attendance is one of the most significant predictors of dropping out.  Students with more than 20 absences in any given year have only a 19 percent likelihood of graduating. According to the 2010 Diploma Counts report, only 55 percent of Chicago students graduate from high school on time. Throughout the six week competition, students and teachers at Collins Academy worked together and improved daily attendance by 7 percent.  Since the competition ended, Collins Academy has maintained a 92 percent attendance rate, positioning the school among the top of all Chicago's high schools in terms of attendance.

"Collins Academy students and staff put everything into this attendance challenge," said Collins Academy Principal Andre Cowling. "We tell students that they own their future and that education is their pathway to success. Winning this challenge is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our students and staff – and that work continues every day."

The three Collins Academy students who each received $10,000 college scholarships are Amanda Chaney, Rachael Pillot, and Japone Johnson.

In recognizing these students, Comcast Vice President of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation and Executive Vice President of the Comcast Foundation Charisse R. Lillie said, "Comcast seeks to support organizations that inspire young people to lead, and the Get MotivatED Challenge encourages them to do just that.  We are thrilled to present these scholarships to these outstanding students at Collins Academy and bring them one step closer to achieving their educational goals."

"The Get MotivatED Challenge proved that with focus, support and incentives, schools can increase student engagement and high school attendance rates," said Marie Groark, Executive Director of the Get Schooled Foundation. "Collins Academy staff and students demonstrated tremendous commitment to changing their data and the 7 percent attendance gain is a testament to their hard work."

In addition to the $30,000 scholarships from Comcast to the three Collins Academy students, twelve students at four other competing schools including Burke HS (Boston), Lincoln HS (Philadelphia), McGavock HS (Nashville) and Orr Academy HS (Chicago) are each receiving $1,000 scholarships from Comcast as a reward for their leadership and for going above and beyond to motivate their peers throughout the competition.  

Schools that actively participated in the Challenge saw an average increase in attendance of 2.01 percent. As a whole, the Challenge motivated an additional 90 students to come to school – students who otherwise might not have found the motivation.

During the national competition, students in participating schools recognized teachers as one of the most important motivators, submitting 3000 nominations for more than 550 inspiring teachers. Click here to view. Students also submitted and voted on homemade original videos about the importance of education through the Def Jam Rapstar video contest.  The contest received more than 100 entries. The winning entrant is being flown to New York to perform live on BET's 106 & Park.  Click here to view.

These activities drove more than 280,000 people to engage in at least one element of the Get MotivatED Challenge.

The Get MotivatED Challenge is supported by AT&T, Comcast, Def Jam Rapstar, the Get Schooled Foundation and Viacom.

Images and broadcast quality footage from today's event is available at


  1. Rene Farrell avatar

    On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 6:22 AM, Rene Farrell said:

    since in youth, we are instructed about our municipal to be a decent resident, rudiments about group authorities, and so on it is not until secondary school where we are required to take legislative issues courses. it doesn't imply that until secondary school we don't know anything about just means it doesn't make a difference at taht age. seriously...when you were 10, did you truly mind who the president was? did you mind how a bill turned into a law? it didn't make a difference to you then on the grounds that your brain couldn't wrap itself around stuf like that. be that as it may, as you got more seasoned, it got your advantage significantly more. when you were youthful, you recently acknowledged that whoever was in power was correct. as you get more seasoned you understand how your decisions can shape the your vote can be the essential one to convey to the table the issues that matter to you.

  2. BarbieDollMorgan avatar

    On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 8:11 PM, BarbieDollMorgan said:

    nicki come to my school....

  3. TeamMinaj_Demi avatar

    On Sat, Jul 9, 2011 at 11:11 PM, TeamMinaj_Demi said:


  4. loveis avatar

    On Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 4:22 PM, loveis said:

    in love:))

  5. loveis avatar

    On Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 4:22 PM, loveis said:

    in love:))

  6. #1ken4nicki avatar

    On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM, #1ken4nicki said:


  7. #1ken4nicki avatar

    On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM, #1ken4nicki said:


  8. #1ken4nicki avatar

    On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM, #1ken4nicki said:


  9. #1ken4nicki avatar

    On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM, #1ken4nicki said:


  10. #1ken4nicki avatar

    On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 5:45 PM, #1ken4nicki said:


Post a comment


  • More events coming soon.

Newsletter Signup