theGrio’s 100: Kamau Harper, putting the ‘cool’ back into learning

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Who is Kamau Harper?

Kamau Harper, 27, a.k.a. Moose, is a stylish Brooklyn-based math teacher with a creative flair and passion for impacting the lives of school-aged children.

Following on from completing his master’s degree in education at the ripe age of 23, Harper took on posts at NYC public schools but felt compelled to do more to transform the lives of young people in his community.

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

In 2010, the dedicated teacher-turned-visionary set up Scholarich, a Brooklyn non-profit that provides youth programs, educational services, informational workshops and networking fundraisers for the local community.

“We use music, entertainment and sports to make education and philanthropy more attractive to urban youth and communities,” said Scholarich CEO Harper. “The programs provide an incentive for students to perform well at school as well as reinforce the importance of academic excellence.”

One of the main programs is Lyrical Café, designed to evoke artistic written expression while improving students’ ability to articulate their thoughts and speak publicly.

The organization has three interdependent branches: academics, philanthropy and music.

Scholarich Academic; provides engaging co-curricular programs for adolescent age students; the Foundation delivers services and resources for underprivileged communities and families; and finally Scholarich Music Group, talented notable artists — SongBird, Chewy Garcia, Money Meech & VONRich — that use their talent to perpetuate the brand.

Another arm is an informal sports-driven mentoring initiative. Team Scholarich are a group of role models on and off the court and field. They use sports to enhance the brand with hopes to mold and harbor student athletes.

What’s next for Harper?

In an interview with theGrio, Harper said on a personal level, “I would like to continue to use my talents and passion to service others as well as providing opportunities for our urban communities — real opportunities.”

He has high hopes for the future of his brand. “Scholarich will grow to be the provide charity work for brands, entertainers and organizations, using the muse of entertainment.”

He said his vision is to inspire the masses to create and use their talents to make change, “Fusing education, entertainment and philanthropy; where the responsibility of empowering others is built within celebrity status.”