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Jay Z's Mother Reveals The Rapper Comes From A Legacy Of HBCU Graduates

In an ESSENCE exclusive, the mother of media mogul Jay Z opens up about the HBCU legacy in the famous family and how the Shawn Carter Foundation is helping underserved students fulfill their dreams.
Jay Z’s Mother Reveals The Rapper Comes From A Legacy Of HBCU Graduates
Kevin Mazur

Gloria Carter’s legacy is much bigger than raising billionaire and rap mogul, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter.

The author and philanthropist — who co-founded The Shawn Carter Foundation alongside her uber famous son — recently landed a major partnership set to provide a plethora of opportunities to underserved children.

In fact, the soon-to-be grandmother to Beyoncé and Jay Z’s twins tells ESSENCE that one student wrote a poignant letter that described her visit to a historically Black college as life changing. “She didn’t think she was college material,” Carter said. But that’s the mindset Carter is hoping to change. 

“There’s so many people that have a desire to go to college, but they can’t get the funding. With me taking on this responsibility, we make dreams come true,” Carter tells ESSENCE.

Through the partnership with eBay for Charity, all of the proceeds will go towards the Shawn Carter Foundation’s educational programs and scholarship funds for students. Celebrities like Rihanna, The Weeknd and Bruno Mars have all donated to the cause, which will provide educational programs and scholarship funds for students.

The foundation, which was started more than a decade ago, has raised more than $4 million while providing initiatives that expose students to HBCUs, scholarships for students and opportunities to study abroad. Through this special auction with eBay, which runs until May 24, fans can bid on items like a VIP lounge party at the 40/40 Club in New York City, Made in America VIP passes and a VIP day at Roc Nation Headquarters.

Focusing on education is a pillar in the Carter family, which boasts HBCU graduates from schools like Howard, Clark Atlanta, Virginia State University and North Carolina A&T State University. Carter’s dedication derives from her mother’s continuous commitment to giving back to the community.

Given today’s political atmosphere, where the Trump administration’s education priorities continue to reflect a lack of compassion for low-income students, it’s in Carter’s blood to continue “reaching down and pulling someone else up behind you.”

For more information on The Shawn Carter Foundation or how to donate, visit eBay.com/SCF.