Earlier this week a video of Erykah Badu‘s surprise visit and impromptu performance for students from The Future Project at Malcolm X High School in Newark, NJ swept the internet. Screams of excitement filled the cafeteria as Badu climbed on top of tables, serenading students with her 1997 classic “On & On” while eating their french fries. 

After the impromptu performance, Badu spoke with students about her experience as a teacher and her aspirations to open a school of her own. She shared her own educational background and career of majoring in theater and minoring in physics at Grambling State University and going on afterwards to teach dance, theater, science and math. She also gave some details around what her school would ideally entail from curriculum to hours and a shortened school week. 

While on her visit, Badu was named an honorary Dream Director from The Future Project. The Future Project places dream directors in schools to offer courses, provide coaching and culture-change techniques to create an impact on building will and skill in students and improving the culture of the school. Currently, The Future Project is in schools in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, New Haven, Newark, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

For more information on The Future Project, please visit TheFutureProject.org.