It was a digital yearbook thrust six stories over Times Square, with 400 high school students from 38 states grinning from the side of Viacom’s world headquarters. They had good reason to smile. These self-assigned “change makers” were about to be acknowledged by DJ Khaled for their commitment to improving their schools and communities.
Khaled Key Day – as the whole activation was dubbed – was part of Get Schooled’s Yearbook Day. In particular, they acknowledged the impact of the Shorty Award-winning Major Keys campaign and honored Khaled’s role in helping it to flourish. The program – which challenges students to master seven “Major Keys,” or focus areas via Get Schooled’s gamified online interface – has been immensely successful, reaching more than 250 million people in just the past year.
While the digital yearbook photos flashed on the billboard outside, several New York City area high school students piled into Viacom’s studio inside to watch a catered question-and answer session between Khaled and radio host Sway Calloway. The students waved their “Grateful Khaled Keys” in the air and learned a bit more about the program’s Keys to Success.
“I’ve never really experienced anything like this before,” one student told Complex. “Everyone’s really excited and hyped up, and I’m excited to be here. It showed me that you can be who you are, and I’ve always struggled with that, so learning to be myself has gotten me to where I want to be when I graduate.”
Students also shared their aspirations and accomplishments with Khaled. “I am grateful for the positive impact we have had on so many young people and even more grateful for their talent and leadership,” said Khaled. “I am excited to work with Get Schooled to inspire and engage even more young people next year.”
Several students joined Khaled (known as the King of Snapchat) on social media to further promote Major Keys. Khaled encouraged students featured on Viacom’s digital billboard to post to social media platforms with the trending hashtag #Grateful (the name of DJ Khaled’s highly anticipated upcoming album). Get Schooled and Khaled acknowledged more than 400 students in-person and on social media for their great work in their schools and communities. See the full list of students here.
— ashli nikoll ☻ (@aashlii_q) June 13, 2017
To expand Major Keys’ success to other areas, Khaled will launch a Viacom-supported initiative called Win More Music, which will provide middle and high school students with an inside look into the music industry.
Experiencing a great year of accomplishments, Get Schooled’s ‘Major Keys’ campaign won the Social Good Category at the 2017 Shorty Awards against 48 other competitors and made Fast Company’s list of 50 most Innovative Companies for its latest gamified approach to inspiring students.