“Want to get that paper? You better turn in that paper.”
– DJ Khaled, Major Keys Campaign
Since 2009, Viacom and Get Schooled have worked to motivate low-income students to graduate from high school and succeed in college, using cutting-edge technology and pop culture to pique kids’ interest in academia. One of Get Schooled’s most recent endeavors, a PSA called Major Keys Campaign that stars music mogul, DJ Khaled, won the Social Good Category—beating out 48 other entries—at the prestigious Shorty Awards, which honor talented content creators and producers on social media.
Major Keys features Khaled spouting off knowledge bytes, or major keys, in YouTube videos: Keys to Success, Keys to Communicate, Keys to Identity, Keys to Health, Keys to Money, and Keys to Community.
As with all Get Schooled initiatives, gamification is a core program characteristic. A constellation of games, quizzes, surveys and activities engages students with each Key. Kids can glorify their academic accomplishments on Keys to Success. Keys to Identity encourages pride in kids’ cultural background, hobbies, and quirks—everything that makes them unique. Keys to Health reinforces the power of meditation and positive affirmation to mental fitness. Keys to Money offers a free college tuition finder and informative articles about student loans and budgeting.
— Get Schooled (@getschooled) May 8, 2017
This inventive approach to inspiring education has reached millions of young people—and the campaign only launched last fall. According to a press release, 86 percent of Get Schooled users who interacted with the PSA said it helped them realize they could go to college. Seventy-six percent of users said it helped them understand how to pay for college, and 86 percent said it presented opportunities they did not think were possible.
“Young people know that a postsecondary education is an important step in securing the future they want, but many students enter college unprepared,” said Marie Groark, executive director of Get Schooled, in a press release. “Through our partnership with DJ Khaled and Viacom, we have been able to expose students to the information and inspiration they need to succeed.”
The Major Keys campaign follows Get Schooled’s enormous achievement in making Fast Company’s list of the 10 most innovative gaming companies earlier this year, “For gamifying the college-admissions process.”
Viacom and Get Schooled also partner on the annual Times Square Yearbook contest, which rewards high school students with a trip to Viacom Headquarters, a spot on a Times Square billboard, and a $1000 scholarship. Oh, and free tacos, courtesy of Taco Bell, another Get Schooled collaborator. The organizations have also teamed up for a $25,000 scholarship animation contest called What’s My Nickfluence.