PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar visited Mt. Pleasant High School on Friday.
The musician traveled to Providence to congratulate the students for their victory in the Get Schooled National Attendance Challenge.
They're being recognized for their 4% attendance gain.
Get Schooled has focused on attendance as a critical metric in school and student performance because it is one of the best predictors of high school graduation rates and college readiness rates.
Despite its importance, a Johns Hopkins study released in 2012 estimates that 7.5 million students in the United States miss a month or more of school, putting them at risk for failing to learn key skills and potentially dropping out of high school.
A 4.0 student at Centennial High School in Los Angeles, Lamar was the first in his family to graduate from high school.
"Without education you don't have anything," said Kendrick Lamar. "My teachers were great positive influences in my life. My middle school English teacher was probably the reason I became a rapper. He used to encourage me to write poetry and would challenge me, which helped me improve my vocabulary and made me enjoy writing."
As the celebrity principal for a day, Lamar connected with students in their classrooms and hosted a school-wide assembly.
Mount Pleasant High School is one of just five middle and high schools in the nation that Get Schooled is recognizing for its attendance gains.