When I grow up…  I want to be just like Justin Combs.

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Smart.  Creative.  Successful.  Kind. And the first in his family to graduate from college — just like how I’m going to be.

When Justin Combs came to my high school today in South Central Los Angeles, I was excited to hear what kind of advice he had for students of color similarly trying to make the most of themselves through education and a college degree.  To be honest, he blew me and my friends away.

Justin said that he went to UCLA to study Sociology and to keep his doors open for future business opportunities, up to and including becoming the next CEO of Combs Enterprises.  He told me and my friends that UCLA is an extremely diverse environment, and that sometimes it takes time to adjust to going to school with people who may not be from where your from, or talk how you talk, etc.  

This got me thinking about how big the world really is, and how growing up in South Central Los Angeles can sometimes be isolating in regards to gaining a full spectrum of experiences useful for college access, business success, networking, and beyond. 

That’s why I want to be like Justin.  By putting myself in an environment like a big University Campus, I can surround myself with other young scholars who are looking to level-up their social or economic standing like me.  And that’s also why I appreciate Justin coming to CATCH Prep today to speak with us.  

He didn’t have to come down here.  But he did it to lead by example. And I, for one, am ready to follow in his footsteps...



10 Questions for Justin Combs

1. What advice would you have for students of color, like me, getting ready to go to a university next fall?

2. I read somewhere that you’re the first in your family to graduate from college, what does that feel like that you’ve accomplished that goal.

3. Your degree from UCLA is in Sociology, is that the same as Psychology? What’s the difference?

4. Did you live on campus as a freshman? Did you have a car? What do you recommend first-year college students to do in terms of living situations?

5. CATCH is 100% Black and Latino, UCLA is 13% Black and 9% Latino. What kind of adjustments did you have to make to be successful in that kind of environment?

6. Do you have any advice for students who want to become entertainment entrepreneurs or own their business?

7. Lebron James says that he is “more than just an athlete.”  While your football career is well-documented,  when did you decide that you were “more than just an athlete?”  How did you make others see you as such?

8. What’s your favorite Bad Boy song, and why?

9. Being that your father is who he is, did you feel any pressure to follow in his footsteps and pick up a career in music?

10.   Who’s a better dancer – you or your father?