Troy Weekes Jr. has his sights set on giving back to the community that gave to him. Weekes wants to educate people about art and culture and help youth.
The Harlem native and freshman at the College of Staten Island (CSI) was recently accepted into the Jeanette K. Watson Fellowship program, which will allow him to experience internships for the next three summers of his college career. Majoring in dramatic arts with a minor in music, Weekes, 25, has aspirations to not only be an entertainer but also be a high school principal. He is also a member of CUNY’s Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge Program and maintains a 3.8 grade point average.
The oldest of seven and born in Harlem, Weekes’ heritage includes African-American and Puerto Rican. He spent time growing up in both East and West Harlem, getting the best of both cultures. He also spent time in Virginia and Atlanta before retuning to New York and working on becoming an entertainer.
A singer and actor, Weekes wanted to break into show business before deciding to attend college. His journey through life has included becoming a runner-up at the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night in 2005 and taking minor television and film roles.
“I started singing when I was 5 years old,” he said. “I’ve been writing songs since I was 14.”
Weekes also gradated from cosmetology school and traveled heavily when he worked as a flight attendant before going to college. Regardless, his heart remained in enhancing the lives of others through the arts.
Throughout his life and various changes, he has always held tightly to his love of music. No matter where he has gone, he has always been a member of a choir or musical group. He’s currently a member of the CSI Gospel Choir and was a finalist in CSI’s “Got Talent” Competition.
“Art is a way of free expression, and it’s an important aspect of life,” he said. “There are so many different things art can release. Art is the reason why I am the way I am.”
On the path to becoming an educator, Weekes said that he wants to help guide youth in the community by becoming an education administrator. After graduating from CSI, he wants to get a master’s and doctoral degree in education.
Some of his past work includes working with teens at the Family and Friend Worship Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“I feel like there is a great need for principals,” said Weekes. “For me, I want to look at the bigger picture to turn things around and help our students to become better professionals. Why watch one classroom when I can make an impact on the entire school?”
Next month, Weekes will begin a summer internship at the Studio Museum of Harlem in the education department. There, he will work on programs for adults and children, educating them further about art.
“My ultimate goal is to give back to the community where I’m from,” he said. “If I can motivate people to live happily and enjoy life, then I will be successful. I want to motivate as many people as possible.”