Rapper Lil Durk has teamed up with Howard University to fund the education of two students from his hometown, Chicago, attending the university.
On Friday, the rapper announced The Durk Banks Endowment Fund, in collaboration with Howard, Amazon Music’s Rotation, and his Neighborhood Heroes foundation.
The scholarship will award two students from Chicago with $50,000 to fund their freshman tuition at Howard University.
“Change the narrative,” Lil Durk told Billboard. “It’s stuff we never got a chance to do, or somebody never did for us. A lot of people don’t do it as far as the music era that we’re in. In my age range, it’s more toward, ‘Let’s go feed them turkeys; let’s go feed them meals.’ My team came together, where we turned it up a notch. I wanted to come up with something that was different and impactful.”
Lil Durk also donated $250,000 to the HBCU’s Graduation Retention Access to Continued Excellence (GRACE) Grant, which will go to Chicago-bred students to help them finish school.
“For me to boost them up and get them to the next level, it was like a no-brainer,” Lil Durk added. “And this scholarship was a super-no-brainer for me. For me and my team, having my own scholarship is like a Grammy.”
The rapper presented the scholarship to the recipients on Friday during Howard University’s Springfest 2023, which he headlined. During his performance, he brought the students up on stage to congratulate them.
According to Billboard, Durk also spent $100,000 on an all-expenses-paid trip for a group of 20 high schoolers to visit Howard University last week. They stayed on campus and were paired with a Howard student mentor.
Lil Durk said that he feels like it’s his “responsibility” to reach back to and help the youth, “especially those that are growing up in my community,” he added. “These kids have to be our biggest investment as they’re our future leaders. They are destined for greatness and I’m encouraging others to join my team’s efforts to help pave their way,” Durk said.