News Home & Design Rap Star Nelly Has Been Quietly Sending 2 Kids to College Every Year for a Decade By Jenn Savedge Writer University of Strathclyde Ithaca College Jenn Savedge is an environmental author and lecturer. She’s a former national park ranger who has written three books on eco-friendly living our editorial process Jenn Savedge Updated November 05, 2019 Nelly says he sees education as the solution that can invoke real change. (Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images) Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices In the age of social media and 24-hour news coverage, it's almost unheard of for a celebrity to do something without the whole world knowing about it. We know when they go to the grocery store, we know what kind of latte they ordered at Starbucks, we know their kids' names and the toys they play with. We can even see pictures of them on vacation. Yet somehow in the midst of all this media attention, one celebrity has managed to do something amazing — he has kept his incredible acts of charity private. Rap star Nelly has been sending two kids to college every year for the past 10 years. And no one knew a thing about it. In an interview with Hello Beautiful, Nelly shared his concerns about the recent issues facing the black community, including the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri, teen Mike Brown at the hands of a white policeman. The St. Louis rapper set up a scholarship in his name to send kids from that area to college. He explained that he saw education as the solution that could invoke real change. "I try to do it through education," Nelly explained. "The only way we’re going to get this is to elevate. We have to get the kids to go out of these communities. Graduate. Get the knowledge. Come back to the community and then they can run it because they understand the people and understand the severity of the situation." As for why he has kept his educational scholarships under the radar, Nelly remarked that it's about making a change, not making an impression. "It's not about the hoo-ha," he says. "It's about the silent assassins. It's the ones that move behind the scenes that get things done. The guy that's screaming on television, he's the diversion. I'm not a diversion. I'm going to get it done." Editor's note: New information has been added to this story.