Kanye West becomes first musician in history to open his own academy


photo by Vittorio Cioffi via Unsplash.com

A fan reps West’s brand on the basketball court.

Alex Hunter, Copy Editor

While Kanye West is best known as an accoladed rapper, he is one of the first musicians to open up his own school. The tuition-free, private, K-12 school offers a reputable basketball program along with ample educational opportunities. 

Donda Academy, denominated in respect to West’s late mother, is described on the school’s website. “Donda Academy finding the intersection between faith and the innovation of the future. Donda Academy is focused on equipping students with an education that will last in the ever-changing world,” it said. 

The school’s mission statement bodes well for all groups of students. In other words, kids do not just come here for school. Many high school basketball stars have transferred to play at West’s academy in hopes of gaining talent advancement and publicity. 

Jalen Hooks, a high caliber basketball player, described his move to West’s academy with the aspiration of a brighter future. “It’s just one of those things you can’t pass up,” Hooks told the Indianapolis Star. “It was more of a family decision, too. All of us just felt like it was a chance to reach my full potential and grow and get ready for the college level.”

Private institutions tend to be a safe haven for recruiters and scouts at the collegiate level. West has developed a free program for motivated players to enhance their game.

Connor Borbeck, junior basketball player, expressed his thoughts on the academy. “I think Donda Academy is a great way for players who are trying to grow athletically but do not have the proper resources to do so,” he said. “It seems like a solid mix of good schooling and an even better sports program, which helps create sound school spirit.”

The academy is not all about sports though; West has promised students a prestigious education for those up to the challenge. An article stated the open-ended goals Donda Academy has implemented. “A world-class education that includes a rigorous core curriculum, and an emphasis on sustainability, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving,” it said.

As West previously shared, school is an important part of life as a kid. “I want to help change the way young people look at school, and hence, the way they look at their futures,” he explained.

West’s introduction of a school in Los Angeles has broken barriers in the world of music. After this accomplishment, it should be interesting to see who exactly he has motivated.