Reported by Kacie Whaley
Rapper/mogul 50 Cent is prepping for season 2 of his critically-acclaimed show “Dream School,” which airs on Sundance TV. The hip hop entrepreneur, who is one of the show’s producers, guides a group of teenagers who have either dropped out or been kicked out of school and assists them in graduating. Other influential figures are also essential in the educational program, as they give the rebellious bunch a positive influence to admire.
“When the students get a chance to see people that are in a position that they can aspire to who have had similar tough situations in front of them, then they don’t make excuses for not being successful and can identify with them,” 50 Cent said while in a press meeting for the show’s new episodes.
50 Cent told Rolling Stone that he realized four years ago that he wanted to help kids who were just as troubled as he was in high school. “I started assessing my legacy and how I want people to remember me,” he said. “Not as a guy who made a couple of cool songs or picked a couple of good roles in film and television, but more as someone who helped others the most. I spent so much time dealing with the business portion of the music business for [2009’s] Before I Self Destruct, it gave me enough time to reflect on who I want to be.”
So now, not only is 50 Cent paying it forward, but for season 2, he and the program’s team are recruiting several accomplished people to join them in teaching 15 New York teens the power of making better choices in order to become a success. Chuck D ( who is also executive producer), figure skater Johnny Weir, chef David Chang, rights activist Gloria Allred, and Emmy award-winning screenwriter and director Cliff Dorfman are just some of the teachers who are on-board.
50 Cent is already thinking about the development of the 3rd season, and even has some pretty high-profile teachers in mind. “[Education is] really important; this is why I’m encouraging Jay Z and Dr. Dre to be on my season 3 … to get them to be able to talk to kids,” 50 Cent suggested. “They need to actually have the kids see them and feel them be a part of the reality of who they are and not just the persona.”
Regardless of the fact that over 3,000,000 kids drop out of school each year in America, 50 Cent remains hopeful that that number can decrease, and that improvement can begin with the work he’s doing on “Dream School.” “These kids are smart; they’re just taking on bad habits,” he said. “This is probably the last opportunity for them. When I met them, they all seemed to understand how lucky they were to be in the program and have this opportunity.”