BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gilyard, better known as Kevin Gates, returned back to his former high school for the first time since becoming famous.

Kevin Gates surprised students at McKinley High School on Monday, May 22 to motivate and inspire them to have a safe summer. Monday is the last day of school for students in EBR, and Gates wanted to send them off with an important message.

“They are getting some basic water skills and some basic emergency skills. But it’s everything from what to do if you’re approaching a body of water, what to do if you’re at a friend’s house and they have a pool to what to do if a friend falls into the water,” Gates said “What can you do to try to help keep them safe? So all of those things are reviewed and gone over. And then we actually gave the kids an in-water experience as well so they can have that introduction.”

Gates allowed students and faculty to take photos and share memories of him being a student at the high school.

Gates said he believes it is part of his purpose to give back to his community and the youth. He reminds kids to stay safe, that it’s OK to make mistakes and, most importantly, they should learn from errors and pick themselves back up.

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