Cardi B surprised staff and students at her old middle school in the Bronx with a $100K donation, meant to expand tutoring and extracurricular options.
Belcalis Marlenis Amanzar, better known as the singer/songwriter Cardi B, was born in New York City and grew up in the Bronx. As a teenager, she dealt with gangs and sex work, but stayed in school, attending I.S. 232 for middle school and Renaissance school for Musical Theater and Technology for high school.
Tuesday, Cardi B – whose nickname is a corruption of Bacardi, a kind of rum – visited 232 in an all-school rally in the school auditorium. She released a video of the rally on her Instagram, showing off a cheering student body and herself posing for pictures with excited pre-teens.
Speaking to the crowd, Cardi B announced the donation and said she wanted the money to be put to “after school activities, maybe tutoring, or maybe something fun, maybe a music program!”
There will certainly be some controversy attached to the money. Cardi B’s rapping is highly sex-focused, with songs like WAP (Wet A** P****) among her most famous. She was also charged in 2018 with two counts of felony assault after a fight in a strip club, and has alluded to a past drugging and robbing the men who came to her for sex work. There are many who regard her fame as a glorification of the uneducated.
Politically, however, Cardi B has taken informed stances since the 2016 Presidential election. During the primaries, she encouraged her fans to vote for Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump, comparing the two men’s platforms on immigration, gun control, and especially social security. She also has openly demanded tax policy transparency, justice for victims of police brutality, and down-ticket voting.
According to a survey published in The Hollywood Reporter, Cardi B is one of the current top five most influential celebrities, especially among those under 25. Like the students who will be impacted most by her generous donation.
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