Mission Vision


NEWARK, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dee-1, the former middle school teacher turned hip-hop artist and motivational speaker, will meet with students from the Houston Independent School District on Friday, Oct. 6, as the last stop on the “Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour,” sponsored by Sallie Mae. Two students in the audience will each receive a $5,000 scholarship for college from Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae will also reveal a special donation to the Houston Independent School District to support hurricane relief efforts.

Born David Augustine, Dee-1 graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. After graduating, he taught middle school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, before pursuing his musical dream and signing with RCA Inspiration records. With “Sallie Mae Back,” Dee-1 brought a new lyrical twist to the hip-hop world: the promotion of financial responsibility. He strives to be real, righteous, and relevant and to help young people achieve the dream of a higher education.

Houston is the last of six stops for “Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour.” During tour stops over the past two weeks in ClevelandIndianapolisAtlantaMilwaukee, and Philadelphia, Dee-1 interacted with and performed for over 5,000 students.


Dee-1, former educator turned hip-hop artist and motivational speaker, in partnership with Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company.


“Dee-1’s Knowledge for College” Tour will visit the Houston Independent School District in Houston, where Dee-1 will meet with students to discuss the importance of planning for college. He will also perform his hit song, “Sallie Mae Back.” Two students at the event will each receive $5,000 scholarships from Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae will also reveal a special donation to the Houston Independent School District to support hurricane relief efforts.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 6

9:15 – 10 a.m. CDT


The Power Center

12401 South Post Oak Rd.

Houston, Texas 77045

Contact: Trina Wright, 713-967-5231 x. 495

Join the conversation at #Dee1Knowledge and get started looking for scholarships at SallieMae.com/Dee1Knowledge.

For more information about saving, planning, and paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.

Sallie Mae (Nasdaq: SLM) is the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae offers products that promote responsible personal finance, including private education loans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search, college financial planning tools, and online retail banking. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


Sallie Mae
Liz Margolis, 302-690-5293
[email protected]


MILWAUKEE — Amidst the cars, the girls and the money, it’s hard to find a hip-hop artist who raps about student loans. One man is changing lives in Milwaukee because he did just that, and his hit has gone viral.

A presentation about financial planning and saving for college may not sound like the most scintillating experience, but things are a little different when David Augustine has the microphone.


“I’m going to be honest,” said Destiny High School senior Calvin Hurns. “Coming here, I kind of thought it was going to be boring.”

Knowledge for College Tour

The Louisiana math-teacher-turned-rapper goes by “Dee-1.” He was in Milwaukee Thursday, September 28th at Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and James Madison High School, as part of his six-city “Knowledge for College Tour.”

“I’m trying to change lives,” Dee-1 said. “I want these kids to know that college is attainable for each and every human being. And graduating college will change your life.”

Knowledge for College Tour

His music video about paying back his student loans, “Sallie Mae Back,” has more than a million views on YouTube.


“I think Dee-1 is a perfect role model for someone,” said Junior Achievement of Wisconsin President Michael Frohna. “He had a dream, he had to figure out how to get there and it was evident that he was successful in pursuing that dream.”

Thursday was a dream come true for Milwaukee School of Languages senior Monet Lee, the lucky recipient of one of the two $5,000 scholarships Dee-1 gave out.

“I would love to become an interpreter,” Lee said of her post-college plans. “I love studying languages. I love dissecting certain languages.”


Dee-1’s specialty is spreading his message in a language students can relate to.

“It never gets old to give a kid $5,000,” he said. “But it also never gets old to spark a light bulb inside of their own head to where they believe in themselves. That’s more valuable than money, is belief in yourself.”

“It was actually a good song,” Hurns, the previously skeptical Destiny senior, admitted.

And that’s the perfect time to drop the mic.

In addition to the event at Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Dee-1 also gave out another $5,000 scholarship at James Madison High School.

Knowledge for College Tour


Rapper Dee-1 is touring the U.S. with Sallie Mae to teach students the importance of financial planning and going to college.

Dee-1, born David Augustine Jr., graduated from Louisiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He taught middle school in Baton Rouge for two years before retiring and pursuing his musical dream.

He signed with RCA Inspiration Records and created his hit song ‘Sallie Mae Back’.

His message is clear and quite different from many other rap songs you hear today: Save your money and go to college.

Dee-1’s music video has more than 1 million views, with positive remarks scattered throughout the comment section.

Now, the rapper is embarking on the “Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour” to educate students on the importance of education and being smart with your money.

Dee-1 plans to visit Grady High School in Atlanta, and one lucky student will get a chance to receive a $5,000 scholarship from Sallie Mae.

He will be at Grady High from 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 27.


New Orleans rapper (and former OffBeat cover artist) Dee-1 has made no secret about his passion for education. After all, the former teacher regularly speaks to students across the country about the importance of attending college. He also knows firsthand the importance of paying for higher education and being financially responsible with the debt students often incur on their paths to academic success. With that in mind, he has partnered with financial institution Sallie Mae for the second year in a row for “Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour” to teach students the importance of planning for tuition and expenses.

The partnership came about after Dee released his song, “Sallie Mae Back,” in which he celebrated successfully repaying his student loans. In addition to garnering him national attention, it also caught the attention of the organization he name-drops in the title, prompting Sallie Mae to reach out to him via social media.

“I was most surprised I was getting love from Sallie Mae themselves. They reached out and congratulated me for paying off my loans and they told me how much they loved the song,” he tells OffBeat. That initial contact eventually led to Dee-1 visiting Sallie Mae’s corporate offices in Delaware and several conversations later, he realized they both had the same goal in mind: providing students and their parents with the tools to successfully plan for college.

Admittedly, he was shocked to find that the organization wasn’t quite the big, bad wolf the public has often perceived Sallie Mae to be. In fact, after branching off from its loan division, Navient, Sallie Mae is no longer responsible for servicing federal student loans and now operates as a private company.

“Sallie Mae is passionate about making sure that students are aware of all the scholarship opportunities that are available to them,” he continues. “They are much more than that surface definition that my whole generation had of Sallie Mae where all they do is hound you to repay them. I started to realize that this is a living, breathing organization of real individuals who really have a heart for changing the world for the next generation.”

Those conversations and his newfound understanding of what Sallie Mae’s current mission is eventually gave way to the “Knowledge of College Tour,” which kicked off this week in Cleveland, Ohio. As part of the tour, Dee-1 will travel to cities such as Atlanta, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Houston where he will stress the importance of proper college planning to high-school students by highlighting Sallie Mae’s free tools like Scholarship Search and the College Planning Calculator. He will also encourage students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible for federally funded grants, work-study, and student loans.

At each tour stop, one lucky student will receive a $5,000 scholarship courtesy of Sallie Mae. Students who aren’t lucky enough to attend one of the tour stops will still have a chance to win scholarship money, too, thanks to the newly launched #StunDee1 contest. Hopefuls are asked to submit either a rap or spoken-word video via Instagram in which they explain why college is a part of their mission, for a chance to win up to $3,000 towards school. Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 27 and the winner will be announced on Facebook Live on Oct. 3 at 8p.m. EST.

“Dee-1’s Knowledge for College Tour” isn’t the only thing that is keeping him busy these days. He’s also putting the finishing touches on his upcoming album, Slingshot David. The album, due out Nov. 10, is a particular point of pride for him. “I’m so excited about pushing it out and letting the world hear,” he says. “I’ve never been this excited to put music out in my entire life.”

In the meantime, Dee-1 will continue spreading his message and stressing the importance of proper college preparation. Learn more about his mission and about his partnership with Sallie Mae visit here.


NEW ORLEANS– RCA recording artist and NOLA native Dee-1 stopped by the Twist set to tell about his upcoming cd “Slingshot David” and a high school tour sponsored by Sallie Mae.

The tour is an attempt to shed light on the number of options available to students to pay for college, and financial literacy as well.


A tour like no other

Hip-hop artist Dee-1 is hitting the road with us for year two of the Knowledge for College tour. At each stop, he’ll issue a personal challenge to high school students to make college a part of their mission, share his story, and perform his hit song, “Sallie Mae Back.” Plus, one lucky student will win a $5,000 scholarship for college.1

Dee-1’s Knowledge for College tips

Why go to college?

  • You can make more money if you have a college degree.
  • You’ll have career options.
  • You’ll meet new people and make connections you’ll value the rest of your life.

How to pay for college?

  • Get your share of the $120 billion the government sets aside for students by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Max out on free money. Apply for as many scholarships as possible!
  • If you need a loan, don’t borrow more than what you expect your salary will be after you graduate.

Why a degree matters?

  • The degree is your key to finding a fulfilling future. Take pride in setting a goal and seeing it through.
  • Earn the return on money you’ve spent. Remember, you’ll have to repay student loans even if you don’t graduate—and that will be much harder without a degree.

In 2016, Dee-1 and Sallie Mae teamed up for a successful tour in five states, giving away $95,000 for college, and inspiring more than 3,000 high school students. See Dee-1 in action.

Dee-1’s Knowledge for College: Make College a Part of Your Mission Sallie Mae

I want high school students to understand why it’s important to go to college and why it’s important to graduate. I don’t want to just tell them to do it.

– Dee-1


the younger generation of rap fans annoyed by progressive, positive leaning hip-hop? According to Stic.man from the legendary political hip-hop group Dead Prez, the answer to that question is no, it’s just something adults assume.

”My son is 16, right? Basically, my house is a hub for all the young brothers around our neighborhood,” he explained. “[They dream of being the] next Future, the next Metro Boomin. But what I think [is] it’s not that they are against progressive hip-hop. I think there’s an assumption being made, maybe on both sides, that because they like certain things, they don’t want to hear other things.”

Earlier in hip-hop — namely in the ’80s — groups like Boogie Down Productions, X-Clan, Poor Righteous Teachers and Public Enemy were considered cool and made it fashionable in many areas of the U.S. to embrace social consciousness.

Some might say the conscious music of the ’80s and ’90s didn’t have the youths marching in the streets like those in the civil rights movement, but a lot of kids were wearing beaded African necklaces and Malcolm X T-shirts, and Black TV shows like “Different World” that spoke to Black issues were huge hits.

According to Stic, P.E. was able to deliver important messages to kids because their music and overall presentation were so strong.

“No one cared about Public Enemy’s message at first,” he said. “[They were like] ‘This s– is the hardest, most creative, dopest, new hip-hop possible.’”

If you’ve been following Dead Prez’s career since they dropped their classic 2000 debut “Let’s Get Free,” then you know that, like P.E., they’ve connected with legions of fans, particularly younger ones, by incorporating some of the youths’ interests into their music.

Stic, who also released some brilliant solo projects, including “The Workout” and “Manhood” albums, says it’s crucial for other progressive rappers to do that, especially the older ones who want to connect with the younger generation.