Jalen Rose, left, speaks during a panel discussion during Detroit Glamour 2022: Day of Service at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on Friday, September 16 in northwest Detroit.
Growing up in Detroit is not for the faint of heart, and neither is the road that it takes to become a success.
Jalen Rose, sports analyst, and former professional basketball player can attest to both as a native Detroiter growing up on the northwest side of Detroit.
On Friday, September 16 at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit, Rose sat with an illustrious group of celebrity panelists who discussed stardom, rising above challenges, discovering their calling, and more. President and CEO of Ignition Media Group Dennis Archer Jr. moderated the discussion before dozens of JRLA students.
Rose, a true-blue philanthropist established the northwest public charter high school, Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA) in 2011.
Rose, who blew up in stardom, came from humble beginnings as his mother, a factory worker for Chrysler, raised him to be the man he is today.
“Although there were times we went with no heat, I remember how hard she worked to provide for my brothers, sister, and me. There seemed to be plenty of jobs back then in the Motor City,” he said in the Michigan Chronicle previously.
Other panelists included DJ Derrick “D-Nice” Jones, Kenny Burns, an entertainment industry executive, television and radio host, and entrepreneur, Alvin Bowles, vice president, Business Ecosystem Partnerships at Meta, and Angela L. Baldwin, a litigation and transactional attorney for The Miller Law Firm Detroit,
“Basketball was my springboard to college, but all inner-city kids aren’t that fortunate,” he said previously. “I will always be proud to call Detroit my hometown. What I’m not proud of is the lack of high-performing schools for our kids and the lack of jobs for their parents. This is a national epidemic, but as most know, it is especially bad in Detroit. Education in Detroit must play a critical role in transforming the community into a more vibrant intellectual and economic landscape.”
D-Nice, who hails from the Bronx, New York said during the event that he grew up “extremely poor” and was raised by his great-grandmother.
“I just had this desire since I was a kid to be in the music industry,” D-Nice, who overcame his past career mistakes, said. “I started making music when I was 15 years old. I sold millions of records and I didn’t know how to manage the finances properly. I ended up losing everything by the time I was 22 – I had to start all over. … I was able to regain everything that I lost.”
D-Nice, who is well-known for his extensive professional background, is also known for launching Club Quarantine on Instagram Live, described as a revolutionary virtual club that safely brought millions together to experience community during worldwide isolation.
Burns said that as a Washington, D.C. native, who also lived extensively in Detroit, his tumultuous upbringing (which included a prison stint) led him to somewhat of an existential crisis during his street-life years.
“I needed a wakeup sign that really put me on my path,” he said after being arrested for selling drugs in his senior year of high school. The multihyphenate executive and fashion designer navigated success in and out of the music business.
“I walked my own path and created my own path,” he said. “I changed the narrative for my family and (my) dream.”
Baldwin said that she too changed the narrative and after successfully living in Florida as an attorney, she moved back to her hometown of Detroit – and not only for her.
“It feels good to be able to help people, which is the reason why I changed my career path because I remember going to a career day and there was not a single person who looked like me,” Baldwin said.
Bowles, a self-proclaimed “nerd” on the panel said that it took him a while to accept himself as a bibliophile and not one in the entertainment industry.
“Everybody’s got their own talents, swag and can bring it to whatever situation is in front of them and for me it was books,” he said. “It took me a while to embrace that.”
After the panel discussion, a student asked Rose what prompted him to start the school.
Rose said that he knew representation matters and giving into inner-city neighborhoods is what counts and students who are at times overlooked.
“I noticed that when people want to influence Black kids, they do it when they’re younger,” he said. “The same amount of money is given to a third-grader as a 12th grader.”
Rose added that he asked the question a long time ago, “How can we make a difference?”
He made that difference and told the students to be the difference in their own lives and others too.
“I want you guys to absorb the knowledge; absorb the game and taking something from it and apply it,” Rose said.
Rose told the Michigan Chronicle after the event that it’s all about giving out real-life, tangible experiences to students.
“(Advice) that not only accomplishes things in their lives professionally but are committed to their lives emotionally,” he said, adding that nothing is stopping them. “Show up and be a multihyphenate. Important to give charity that makes it to the hood.”
Watch the video recap here.