CALHOUN CITY, MISS. (WCBI) – These students knew they were going to hear from someone in the music business, but when they found out more about the speaker, and who he works with, they were ready to hear his story.
Michael J Sykes, or MIAMI (Money isn’t a major issue) Mike, has made a name for himself in the entertainment and music industry. He is CEO of Palm Tree Entertainment, a nationwide concert promoter, executive producer, booking agent author and humanitarian.
He was brought to Calhoun City High School to encourage these 5th through 12th graders to make wise choices and to take school seriously. As Mike shares his story, he lets the students know that there was a time in his life when he did not make good choices and he paid a steep price.
“I wind up going to prison for seven years cause I made stupid mistakes, but I’m the only guy in my family to ever be locked up, I let my mom down, my dad down, I was raised, knew right from wrong but at the end of day I made wrong choices because of peer pressure,” Mike said.
After his time in prison, Mike says he was determined to turn his life around , and in the early 1990s he got his start in the music industry by promoting parties. Now, he’s a successful music executive and much sought after motivational speaker.
“Don’t let no one tell you you can’t do what you want to do, know what I’m saying,” he encouraged the students.
After his presentation, Miami Mike visited with the students, signing autographs, posing for pictures and telling teenagers they don’t have to make the same mistakes he made.
“I try to tell them but a lot of them aren’t going to listen cause I didn’t listen when I was in school but that’s why I come here I don’t write nothing down just tell them off the heart, tell some true stuff ,” Mike said.
His message resonates with youngsters.
“Some students may get a little discouraged sometimes, feel like they are not going to make it, may need a little reinforcement,” said Charity Virges, a sophomore.
“He started from the bottom and now worked his way to the top so it’s a real inspirational thing for him to show us that anybody can do anything if they put their mind to it,” said Senior Tyler Evans.
Although Miami Mike has more than a full schedule, he says he will always find the time to tell his story of wrong choices, hard work and redemption.
For more information on M.I.A.M.I. Mike, go to www.1PalmTreeEnt.com