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Summer is officially over, which means it’s time to hit the books and get back to school — and it’s not every day those students get the chance to meet a famous rapper the day before.
On Sunday, South Florida native Rick Ross partnered with Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Reggie Leon and Foot Locker Miami to host “Ready Up” to show kids that it’s cool to be in the classroom.
“Just seeing everybody in the line as we rode around once or twice, I’m like ‘wow, this is beautiful’,” said Ross. “The most important part about this is regardless of how successful you are, it’s all about coming back to your community. It makes it a reality for the youngsters, the same way it was for me growing up when I saw it — when I could touch it.”
The event was held at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreation Complex, where free sneakers from Converse and 300 backpacks filled with school essentials were handed out.
There were even free haircuts and hair braiding for the kids, with the Biggest Boss himself stepping in to style a few kids. It was all part of a bigger message.
“You’re a winner. We breed winners here! You can become anything you want to be,” said Rick Ross. “Enjoy it! This is the best time of your life right here in school.”
Giving back to a place he loves isn’t anything new for the rapper.
“I knew what it would have meant to me being a youngster. I remember growing up in Carol City, going to watch the Miami Dolphins practice,” he said. “I knew what it was like looking through the gate like ‘Oh man you see Marino!’ It just makes it real, and that’s what I wanted to make sure I contributed to.”
The event drew smiles from all the families, and Ross hopes Sunday’s event keeps the kids in the classroom and out of trouble.
“Oh, you can be bigger than Rick Ross! You could be a billionaire! And Rick Ross, I’m challenging you!” he said.