Rapper Cardi B visited her former middle school in the Bronx and left a hefty donation for the arts.
On Tuesday, the Grammy award-winning rapper surprised students gathered in the auditorium at IS 232 in Morris Heights. As she walked down the aisle the stunned children broke into applause. She then gave a speech to the students about the impact of her experience at the school.
“A lot of the teachers were really tough on me because they saw something in me,” she said. “I was like a bad kid, but I was very special to a lot of these teachers and I still got them in my heart.”
Cardi also surprised the students and IS 232 Principal Desiree Resto by pledging $100,000 to fund arts programming at her alma mater.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cardi B back home to IS 232 #InTheBronx, and we are so grateful for her generous contribution to her alma mater,” Schools Chancellor David Banks tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Cardi B’s commitment of $100K for the arts will help the school’s kids soar to their highest heights. Thank you, Cardi!”
Following her announcement, the Bronx native answered questions from students and took a group photo with students and school staff.
On Wednesday, Cardi posted a video of her visit and said she intended to surprise students earlier but had to delay her visit because of COVID-19. She said she would be visiting other schools in Brooklyn and Queens and would soon be announcing a secret project she has been working on for the last two years.
“This middle school, IS 232 in the Bronx, has a very special place in my heart!! It turned me from an 11 year old girl into a little teenage adult,” she wrote on Instagram. “Kids in the Bronx have to grow up quickly do to our circumstances and our environment. While some young teens like around 11-13 still live in that Disney world, these kids have to grow up fast and QUICK. Like a lot of these kids i went thru so much while I was going to school here. Experiences that changed me forever and made me who I am today.”
She added that she hopes her donation “can help create an amazing after school program that will help kids stay out the streets or a troubled home and most importantly allow them to learn something that they can take with them through LIFE.”