Middle and high school students in St. Thomas enjoyed a candid conversation with Virgin Islands’ native and talk show host Peter Bailey when he sat down with St. Thomas boxer and celebrity chef Julius Jackson on Bailey’s online talk show, NiteCap LIVE, on May 12 at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School auditorium.
Students from Charlotte Amalie High School, Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, All Saints Cathedral School, Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic School and BCB Middle School filed into the auditorium for the live taping.
In his chat with Bailey, Jackson opened up about his rise to national and international prominence and some of the challenges he faced growing up on a small island. He credits his family for ensuring he and his brothers knew the value of hard work and determination, which he says help him in his entrepreneurial endeavors today.
Bailey and Jackson are both alumni of Ivanna Eudora Kean and agreed that education is the foundation of success. They encouraged students to study and remain focused on succeeding in school.
“Education is one the most important keys to success,” Bailey starts. “[Going to] college was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When people see me, they think I am an athlete. I wanted to be the team owner, not the player and I always believed that you’re only as strong as your intellect.”
The themes of ‘beating the odds’ and ‘challenging stereotypes’ echoed throughout the conversation, as Bailey and Jackson told numerous stories of being the underdog in situations that eventually contributed to their success.
Bailey, who stands 6-foot-8, confessed his passion for writing at a young age and breaking stereotypes that he should have been an athlete. Jackson, who is an athlete, also shared that he is stereotyped by some to be solely an athlete. “Because I am an athlete, more so a black athlete, some people think that’s all I aspire to be,” said Jackson. “I wear my chef hat when I travel to fight and people are actually surprised that I am also a chef and an entrepreneur.” A question-and-answer segment followed, with students asking about Jackson’s educational background, success, and simple life hacks for high school and getting through the teenage years.
Peter Bailey is a US Virgin Islander and nationally recognized author and journalist. His book on the life of hip-hop star Trick Daddy was praised as “one of the pop music gems of 2010” by the New York Times. Bailey’s popular web-based show, NiteCap with Peter Bailey” is filmed in different locations throughout the United States with more recently with live show in the Virgin Islands including the territory’s high school students. NiteCap has seen the likes of Rick Ross, Janelle Monae and Chad Johnson covers the entertainment industry and pop culture. Prior to launching NiteCap Bailey wrote for TIME magazine, Newsweek and the Miami Herald. Bailey hopes bringing the show to the Virgin Islands will provide inspiration for youth and serve as positive media exposure for the territory.