In celebration of the release of the book “The HBCU Experience: Virginia State University” book (out now), we got the chance to interview VSU alumnus, founder of Yardtalk 101 and host of HBCU 101 on Aspire TV Jahliel Thurman. Check it out!
Randall: Tell us about yourself!
Jahliel: I am Jahliel Thurman a Chicago native that graduated from Virginia State University. I am the CEO/Founder of Yard Talk 101 a digital marketing company that increases online visibility, social impact, and awareness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Currently I am the host and executive producer of HBCU 101 a tv show that promotes the lifestyle, culture, and entertainment of HBCU’s on AspireTV. As well as a philanthropist and mental health advocate.
Randall: How did you end up at your University/College?
Jahliel: They offered me the most scholarship money and the Ques were on the yard.
Randall: What did you get your degree in? Did it support what you are doing now?
Jahliel: Mass Communications with a focus in Television; Yes.
Randall: Can you give me a quick description of your years in college? (Freshman-Senior)
Jahliel: College was fun. I went from being a little fish in a big pond to becoming a big fish in a little pond. Over my four years I joined a community service-based organization, was SGA Vice President for two years, SGA President my senior year, president of the Nu Psi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, a party promoter, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Randall: What year would you consider as your success year?
Jahliel: I don’t think I have hit that year yet, I have some things in the works so hopefully 2020 will be that beginning to the success I imagine for myself.
Randall: How did you start working in your current position?
Jahliel: A year ago I became a full time entrepreneur and decided to bet on myself, in doing so opportunities began to fall in my lap. That’s how I became host and executive producer of HBCU 101.
Randall: Did you expect to be in the position you are in today?
Jahliel: At some point in my career yes.
Randall: How do you feel your HBCU experience at Virginia State University aid you in your success?
Jahliel: VSU taught me how to adapt. Being from Chicago and going to school in Petersburg, VA was an extreme adjustment. However, I adapted and was successful, now I feel like I can go anywhere in the world and be successful.
Randall: What’s next on your journey?
Jahliel: Season 2 of HBCU 101 and then I am working on a partnership with a major non-profit organization.
Randall: Where can we find you?
Jahliel: You can find me on social media: @jahlielthurman @hcbu101 @yardtalk101 Currently I am in Atlanta, GA. However you can find me on social media as well as on television when season 2 of HBCU 101 airs.
Randall: Tell us about your book The HBCU Experience: The Virginia State University Edition?
Jahliel: The book is amazing! We have stories from VSU pioneers from varius eras in which they share their experience at VSU and their story on how VSU has affected them and made them who they are today. I think that it will be impactful, because it provides those who are readers a way to learn more about the VSU Experience.