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Youth Summit brings BET celebrity to Centre

The Centre at Halifax Community College was the location for the second annual Youth Summit on July 28. The summit was a presentation by the Halifax County and Weldon City Schools Abstinence Education Program and was funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The keynote speaker was Terrence Jenkins, known as Terrence J, from BET’s “106 & Park.”


Jenkins encouraged the middle school and high school students in attendance to get an education. “Do your schoolwork now, because that will help you get into a good college and get what you want after that,” he said. “The most important thing is to stay focused.” He highlighted his life experiences and also mentioned some of the celebrities with whom he now works. He continued to emphasize the importance of focus, staying positive, being around positive people and effectively dealing with challenges. “You can overcome anything that comes your way if you believe in God and if you stay focused and if you continue to be humble,” he added.


Growing up, Jenkins realized that talking was his gift and passion. Although he would have liked to play sports, he was too short and he could not sing or rap, so those were not options for his future. However, he could talk and he knew he wanted to be on the radio, so he chose a college that had a station and majored in mass communications. After college, he worked for a sports company and later auditioned for BET where he landed a spot as co-host on “106 & Park.”


“Learn from everything going on in your life,” said Jenkins, who suggested that students stay busy and find productive outlets as a means to avoid peer pressure. He also recommended having mentors and positive role models.


Jenkins is originally from Queens, N.Y., but grew up in the Rocky Mount and Raleigh areas. He attended Northern Nash High School and worked at a local radio station as a DJ until he graduated. Jenkins attended North Carolina A & T State University. While there, he served as the SGA president and as a DJ for the university’s radio station as well as other local stations. He graduated in 2004. BET’s “106 & Park” is seen in more than 85 million homes in the U.S., Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Caribbean and is the number one rated show on the network.

Terrence J, center, with students at the Youth Summit, July 28