Earlier this month, it was announced that Steve Perry, Ph.D., Bishop T.D. Jakes and businessman Daymond John were coming together to create a continuing education program to help professionals take their careers to the next level.
Working under T.D. Jakes School of Leadership program and its partnership with Regent University’s Professional & Continuing Education division (PCE), BlackEnterprise.com chatted with educator Perry to get insights on what it’s like to work with Bishop Jakes and why a program such as this one is needed to help improve our community.
BlackEnterprise.com: How did the opportunity come about for you to work with Bishop Jakes and his leadership program?
Steve Perry: A couple years ago, Bishop Jakes and I started talking about working together around the topic of education. A lot of people don’t know that in addition to being a well-known pastor, Bishop Jakes has many other endeavors. He built a neighborhood of affordable homes outside his church in Texas and in doing that he also built a charter school. So he wanted to find a way for us to work together on a global scale to impact more families. Eventually the partnership with Regents came forward and it was an opportunity to take this online learning experience and bring it to our community. There are so many mothers and fathers who I work with and because I get to know more about them by working with their children, I know they can benefit from this. They just want something that is going to give them insights into other ways they can be successful.
What makes this online program different from others?
It starts with the fact that this is something that Bishop Jakes, a person who truly understands what is going on in our community, has signed on to do. The courses are designed to speak to what our community needs, and it’s an embodiment of someone who on so many levels has been what so many of us wish to be, which is successful among all platforms. One thing I love about Jakes is he is a pastor who also sees the power in your career and your professional options and it’s not just about working for one company. There’s a generation under 50 who gets it and understands that you have to be your own brand manager. The kids we’re teaching [at Capital Prep]are so amazing because they don’t even think of a career as I’m going to work for ESPN or some other company. They see it as I have these skills and I’m going to lend them to such and such organization. As you know, people have entire careers in working for multiple industries, and they shift themselves from being an employee to being their own mini CEO.
As the principal and founder of Capital Prep, you do a lot of work with educating our youth. How important do you think it is for us to train our young people to not only be good students, but also excellent workforce leaders?
This is why I am involved in this project. I am committed to this because it’s an opportunity for me to say the things to adults that I’ve never really gotten a chance to say. There are skills that you just need in order to be successful. It is vital to teach not just young people, but all people these skills. You may not have gotten all A’s in school, and you may not have went to an Ivy League school, but being able to maximize your career capital is what this experience is about.
To learn more about T.D. Jakes School of Leadership and the work that Perry is doing with the program visit TDJakesLeadership.com.