EXCLUSIVE: Big Sean Talks Sean Anderson Foundation, Mogul Prep & Education

By Isha Thorpe

August 24, 2017

Before his performance at the 2017 Billboard Music Festival, iHeartRadio got the chance to speak with the concert's headliner Big Sean about his music, upcoming iHeartRadio Music Festival performance and more. 

One thing that is extremely near to Sean's heart is his charity, the Sean Anderson Foundation, which his mother, Myra Anderson, runs everyday. Myra used to be a schoolteacher, so she's always had a passion for helping children reach their fullest potential. Now a music superstar, Sean has this desire he's learned from his mom, too. 

The rapper's mission statement of the Sean Anderson Foundation's website reads: "My vision for the Sean Anderson Foundation is simply to make the lives of young people better. I want to be an inspiration to young people by showing them that hard work and determination pay off, to be an example of what can happen when you follow your dreams, and to be an instrument of encouragement for us all to help ourselves and to support one another. Detroit and the entire country have shown me much love and I passionately want to return that love."

During our conversation with Big Sean in his dressing room at the Billboard Music Festival, we asked him about the Humanitarian award that he received from Project Knapsack because of his foundation's efforts. Project Knapsack is a literary program that partners with U.S. schools to give American kids pen pals from different parts of Africa.

"It was great. My foundation -- my mom runs my foundation. It was for Project Knapsack. That's one of the few things the Sean Anderson Foundation does," Sean exclusively told iHeartRadio. "That's when we link kids from Detroit, specifically Bates Academy, with kids in Soweto, Africa. They're pen pals. It just teaches them how big the world is. It teaches them to be cultured. It teaches them to have a mind outside of just being in the city and vice versa. 

"And on top of that, they get school supplies and things that they wouldn't normally get all the time. I feel like that's great to see. Some of them, I'm very proud of and I think the whole program in general [has] affected like 20,000 kids. I feel good about that."

Then, Sean started telling us about Mogul Prep. "We're also working on Mogul Prep, which is actually a curriculum. My mom was a schoolteacher. We keep developing it as time goes," the Detroit MC continued. "But, it's a curriculum teaching people the ins and outs of the music industry [like] different jobs because coming up, I just wanted to be a rapper. 

"But, that's only what I saw on TV. I didn't know that there [were] 50 other jobs that go behind it that are just as important. From publisher, publicist to a creative director, a lighting technician and a sound guy… all these different jobs."

Before our chat with Sean ended, he expressed how he would like the future of education to be for tomorrow's children. "As time progresses, just like technology progresses and phones change, I feel that education needs to change, too. And I think this is something we need to start implementing in school systems."

Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio

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