TVONE.TV: We are so excited for this new show! Tell everyone how SAVE MY SON really came about.
STEVE: I was approached about two years ago and to be honest, I really wasn’t feeling it due to time constraints. I wanted to do my regularly scheduled life where I run a school. I planned on leaving TV alone and use my craft to work with kids.
TVONETV: Then what happened? What made you change your mind?
STEVE: I agreed to attend a 15 minute pitch meeting on the weekend and I still wasn’t sold but when I found out it was TV ONE and I would have the opportunity to save lives and work with real families in my community, I was committed to the project.
STEVE: I could not pass up being able to talk directly to Black audiences on a network that I respect.
TVONE.TV: What’s your work/life balance like?
STEVE: I don’t have one. It’s unbalanced. My sons attend the school that I am the principal of so I am able to drive them in and see them during the day. I have a support system – my wife, my parents and my colleagues. They all care about what I do so they make it happen. I don’t deserve all of this but I appreciate it and it makes me work even harder.
STEVE: The Black community has been extremely supportive. Sisters - yes but when brothers reach out to me …WOW! When I get a tweet from a Black man thanking me or reaching out that really means a lot because I know where they are coming from.
TVONE.TV: How do your sons feel about all of this?
STEVE: Because of what I do, they get to do a lot of cool things so they are alright. They have sacrificed a lot and I teach them that what we do is important and it does make a difference.
TVONE.TV: How do you parent from a distance with your busy schedule?
STEVE: I use technology a lot. I don’t care if you work at a local business or travel constantly; I encourage families to SKYPE, TEXT or call when you can. Once, my son sent me a school report to review and I knew he could do better. We communicated via email and he wasn’t happy about it but by the time I got to my next destination he sent a revised version. We can parent and not be in the same place. Parenting can be expanded. I’m hopeful! Whether the parent is not in the home due to work or divorce or maybe they don’t live in the same household, it can be done. I’m no busier than anyone else. I get 24 hours like everybody.
TV ONE: Where you the kid in the principal’s office or the kid on the honor roll?
STEVE: LOL! I was the cat in the principal’s office often. I was on the honor roll once as a freshman in college. I was an average student. I didn’t hit my stride until college and grad school. I was even kicked out of preschool! I was kicked out of a preschool in the housing project for cussing and fighting too much. I was a troubled youth when I was young.
TVONE: Did you get in a lot of trouble as a teen?
STEVE: I didn’t fully disengage from trouble. I didn’t steal in the dairymart but I was there when it was going down. I kinda feel responsible for the exploding ink that is on clothes now (so people can’t steal). LOL. I even took one of those off once when a store forgot it was there. In high school I didn’t smoke or sell [drugs] but I was there. I was the sober get-away kid of the group. But I knew I didn’t want that life. I knew it then.
TVONE.TV: What's playing in your iPod?
STEVE: The What by Biggie [ Notorious B.I.G.] & Meth [Method Man] is in heaving rotation …. Mike J [Michael Jackson], Phil Collins , R. Kelly – Chocolate Factory, Pharell and Common. Guy is also on heavy rotation – I’m rediscovering him! Jay-Z and Kanye don’t ever come off my iPod-ever!!!! I write and read to their music all the time. My last book was written with Kanye’s music on full blast in the background.
TVONE.TV: You love education. Please explain.
STEVE: I think that education is in me. Everything that I have now, I know it is because of my access to school. I see what it has done in my life and I want to share that. You can give people money but you can’t make them stay rich. You can’t take away anyone’s education – it’s an intellectual property and it will keep you rich forever.
TVONE: Tell us about Save Our Sons. What can people expect to see when they watch?
STEVE: It’s so good! If you can find something better let me know. You won’t find it – on ANY network. I’ll put it [Save My Son] up against anything and I guarantee from soup to nuts you will be moved and educated. It’s a life altering experiences. Save My Son is going to blow your mind! I was there and I’m like how is this going to end?
STEVE: If you have a child you will look at your parenting differently after watching the show. If you don’t any children you will get involved- niece, nephew, cousin, neighborhood kid. This show will ultimately make you look in the mirror.
Don’t miss Save My Son, a powerful new documentary series that will delve into the gripping tales of families struggling to help their sons who have fallen victim to bad influences and wrong choices. Hosted by renowned educator Dr. Steve Perry, Save My Son is intended to shed light on an all too familiar story within the African American community across a broad spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds. Tune in Wednesdays beginning September 26 at 9/8C.