“Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour” Visits James Madison Academic Campus and Junior Achievement of Wisconsin to Educate Students and Hand Out Scholarships from Sallie Mae
MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Former teacher turned hip-hop artist Dee-1, in partnership with Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company, visited Milwaukee today for “Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour
,” a six-city national tour promoting planning for college and financial literacy. Dee-1 met with and performed for students at James Madison Academic Campus and Junior Achievement of Wisconsin’s Kohl's Education Center and was joined by representatives from Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), and leadership from Milwaukee Public Schools and Junior Achievement.
“Going to college doesn't change your life; graduating from college changes your life,” said Dee-1. “It all starts with a good game plan, and that’s why we’re here today. Our young people need the tools and resources to get on the right track not only to go to college, but also to complete college. The good news is there are free tools and resources out there that can help.”
Born David Augustine, Dee-1 graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. During his visit to Milwaukee, the rapper and motivational speaker addressed more than 700 high school juniors and seniors, discussing his transformation from middle school math teacher to hip-hop artist and his college experience. Students then joined him on stage as he performed his viral hit song, “Sallie Mae Back,” in which he celebrates repaying his student loans.
“Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour” is part of a broader effort between Sallie Mae and the state of Wisconsin to prepare students for college. Last year, DFI launched “Look Forward to Your Future
,” which provides resources about career and college readiness for students, parents, and educators.
“Dee-1 brings a powerful message to students about the importance of a college education,” DFI Secretary Jay Risch said. “His efforts in many ways dovetail with the work of DFI’s Office of Financial Literacy, our ‘Look Forward’ college affordability initiative, and the great work of Governor Walker’s Council on Financial Literacy. I’d like to thank Sallie Mae and Dee-1 for bringing their ‘Knowledge for College Tour’ to Wisconsin.”
At both stops in Milwaukee, Sallie Mae provided a $5,000 scholarship to a student in the audience. In addition, the company donated $15,000 to Junior Achievement of Wisconsin to support statewide literacy efforts.
“Paying for college is often considered the second largest expense of a lifetime for many people. It is vital that today’s students have the knowledge and skills they need to make wise financial decisions, minimize educational debt, and set themselves on a path to economic success, said Michael Frohna, President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “At JA, we are helping more than 158,000 Wisconsin students successfully navigate their economic futures. Junior Achievement is proud to partner with Sallie Mae and Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions to host Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour at the JA Kohl’s Education Center.”
"Thank you to Dee-1 and Sallie Mae for taking the time to engage with our students," said Milwaukee Public Schools superintendent Darienne Driver. "It is incredibly valuable to have someone that our students can relate to talk about the importance of being prepared for their life after high school. Our young men and women heard a vital message today that will help them better understand the financial supports available to make their dreams come true."
Milwaukee is one of six stops on “Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour.” During tour stops last week in Cleveland and Indianapolis, and this week in Atlanta, Dee-1 interacted with and performed for more than 3,000 students. After leaving Milwaukee, the tour will head to Philadelphia before wrapping up in Houston.
“Dee-1’s a terrific ambassador, taking what can be an overwhelming topic like planning and paying for college and distilling it into real and relevant advice that connects the dots for students and families,” said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “We were thrilled to work with the State of Wisconsin and Junior Achievement to bring our tour and this important message to Milwaukee!”