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The hip-hop star presented three top students with college scholarships, worth $10,000 each, and later posed for photos and signed autographs as she mingled with more than 400 students.

But Nicki Minaj also got serious as she helped to teach an English class and expressed how significant her own lessons, at New York's LaGuardia High School, have been as she forges her career in music.

She told the class, "I am a young, female mogul before I am an artist. As a businesswoman there isn't a single day where I don't use my education or acquire new knowledge to ensure my success. Regardless of where you are today, with education you can take yourself where you want to be."

Taking to her Twitter.com blog after the event, Nicki Minaj wrote, "Best Day Ever!!! Collins Academy was absolutely amazing!!!"