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“Trying to change lives:” Teacher turned hip-hop star gives student’s college advice by rapping

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.

“Trying to change lives:” Teacher turned hip-hop star gives student’s college advice by rapping

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“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.”

“Trying to change lives:” Teacher turned hip-hop star gives student’s college advice by rapping

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.”

“Trying to change lives:” Teacher turned hip-hop star gives student’s college advice by rapping

Knowledge for College Tour

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

“Trying to change lives:” Teacher turned hip-hop star gives student’s college advice by rapping

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“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.”

“Trying to change lives:” Teacher turned hip-hop star gives student’s college advice by rapping

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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.

“Trying to change lives:” Teacher turned hip-hop star gives student’s college advice by rapping

Knowledge for College Tour