Gloria Woods, aka “GloRilla,” flashes her appreciation for the support of Dr. Bobby White, founder and chief executive officer of Frayser Community Schools, which operates MLK College Prep High School, where the hip-hop star attended. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The New Tri-State Defender)

Count Gloria Woods among the talented who make it big in their chosen field and recognize the helping hands along the way.

Memphis native Woods – aka “GloRilla” – has catapulted to national and global stages riding widespread embrace of her breakout hit “F.N.F. (Let’s Go).” She is the first female artist to sign with fellow Memphian Yo Gotti’s CMG label. Most recently she was nominated for two BET awards.

On Thursday afternoon, the former MLK College Prep High School student returned to her former high school for a surprise performance during the homecoming pep rally. She brought with her a $25,000 donation designated for the fine arts program and to assist with senior dues.

“It’s only been a couple of years since I was sitting where y’all are sitting,” she told the assembled students. “I’m from MLK, so I had to come back and represent for y’all.”

MLK College Prep High School is one of three schools, along with Westside Middle School and Humes Middle School, operated by Frayser Community Schools, a local charter school network.

GloRilla attended Westside Middle and MLK College Prep High School. She later moved graduated high school at Melrose.

“We are extremely proud of Ms. Woods and thankful for her acts of service, leadership, and fellowship to her community,” said Chiquita Perry, principal of MLK College Prep High School.

Chiquita Perry, MLK Prep High School principal. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The New Tri-State Defender)

A former teacher, Perry taught Woods in the 10th grade.

“In light of her talent and success, her generous donation will be used to support the MLK Fine Arts program,” said Perry.

“There are a lot of talented students like Ms. Woods walking the halls of MLK. This gift will help us support the artistic dreams of our students.”

GloRilla committed to return to the school for seniors and to see the updates to the fine arts program.

She left the students with this: “Just remember to do your work, listen to your teachers, and reach for the stars.”