No matter how far you go in life, it’s always important to remember where you come from. And for the world-famous rapper, producer, and entrepreneur Dr. Dre, his hometown of Compton will always be near and dear to his heart. The hip-hop legend is known for repping the place where he grew up, and he recently decided to give back to his community by providing a resource for the youth of Compton that is unlike anything he was ever offered growing up.
In 2017, the artist donated $10 million towards a projected $200-million project to build a new campus for Compton High School. And his generous contribution is specially allocated towards a new performing arts center that will be named in his honor—the Andre ‘Dr. Dre’ Young Performing Arts Center. On May 7, the rapper joined Compton community leaders to break ground on the long-awaited project and shared a few words during the special ceremony.
“I was an artistic kid in school with no outlet for it,” Dr. Dre explained during his speech. “I knew I had something special to offer to the world, but with nothing to support my gift, schools left me feeling unseen.”
After not finishing high school himself and later getting his GED, the illustrious musician admits that he’s always wondered how much further ahead he could have been if his schools had been equipped with more resources. And now he wants to make sure that the next generation never has to wonder the same. “This city is special,” he adds, “and [the] young people living in it are special.”
In addition to the performing arts center, the 126-year-old school’s new campus will also include a new academic building that can accommodate up to 1,800 students, a new gym, an aquatics center, and a new football stadium and track. The rest of the project will be funded through a bond measure for the Compton Unified School District that was passed back in 2015. Now that the project has finally broken ground, the new campus is expected to open at the beginning of 2025.
“This new campus that will be erected, it will be erected upon deep roots and outstanding accomplishments that have been established over decades,” the school’s principal, Rigoberto Roman, said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Let us embrace this change for the sake of our future and our children’s future. This is a type of change to celebrate.”