GetSchooled is a nonprofit that aims to improve high school graduation rates and help students succeed in college. They hold competitions that include various prizes… like bringing celebrities to your local high school.
BRHS won a competition that graded on things like filling out college financial aid forms and entrance applications.
Senior Charles Strickland explained, “Out of 320 schools we won. So the famous rapper Kendrick Lamar got to Skype with us.”
“I think how he flows when he raps it’s really sweet. Some of the things he says, there’s a background meaning to everything. I like that,” Strickland said.
Lamar, who has worked with the likes of Dr. Dre and RZA, was a straight “A” student when he graduated from Centennial High School in Compton, California.
Some students asked him how hard he worked to get where he is. Some wanted to know what it was like to be a celebrity. And some students even rapped Lamar’s lyrics to him and beat-boxed.
Originally Lamar was supposed to actually be in Bethel as a principal for a day.
“When we won, we were like all ready for our celebrity principle,” said real-life BRHS Principal Janelle Vannasse. “I think they had a little bit of a little bit of a difficult time finding somebody. So they said, ‘Let’s try this Skype thing.’ And we talked to them about it and said, ‘Gosh, that’s great, but it’s not enough.’ So where GetSchooled is now is we got to have the Skype, since they set that up, and we get to have a celebrity principle.”
Even though he wasn’t there in person, Strickland still said Lamar is one of his favorite artists.
“He was just being real positive, telling us to don’t give up on our dreams, keep on going through school, don’t let people put you down, stuff like that.”