For Paul Herman ’04, the friends he made, the experiences he had and the lessons he learned at Sacred Heart University are still impacting his life and career today. “A big chunk of my life was spent at SHU. A lot of the skills, friends and also opportunities I have gotten over the years have also come from SHU. My experience at SHU has impacted my life in a positive way, and I truly appreciate the continuous support from the SHU community.”
These days, Paul Herman and his brother, Brian Herman, own their own entertainment company, Double Up Company & Entertainment. DUCO focuses on excelling in four major areas: dance, education, fitness and artist development. “By providing bridges to connect all these disciplines to the community we now become your link to entertainment.” Herman said.
The Hermans’ passion and drive has taken them from performing on local community stages in the Bronx to worldwide stages in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe. They have shared the stage and collaborated with prominent international artists such as Alicia Keys, Rick Ross, Swiss Beats, Kat Deluna, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Rihanna, Sean Paul, DJ Spynfo from Hot 97.FM and Lil Wayne, as well as other leading recording artists, producers and choreographers. Additionally, Double Up was featured in Reebok’s “Your Move” global marketing campaign and was selected to perform in “A Tribute to Motown” at Carnegie Hall.
Despite the worldwide acclaim, the duo has maintained their focus on inspiring younger generations through their company. One of the major ways in which Double Up influences their students is through dance. Double Up is well-known for their professional instructing master classes, workshops and summer camps, including Sugar and Bruno’s Annual Summer Dance Camp.
Giving back has also been a focus of the group, and they do a lot of that through their program entitled Move to Succeed. “Sometimes the hardest thing to do when working toward a goal is taking that first step. We try to teach our students to set realistic goals, create timelines and understand themselves and also to see the importance of an education. Double Up visited over 40 schools last year and we are looking to expand the program out west in 2013,” Herman said.
He says his experiences at SHU helped teach him many of the values he is trying to instill in his students today. Some of his best experiences at SHU involved Omega Phi Kappa Multicultural Fraternity Inc. (OPK), Campus Ministry and Community Service, a work study job at the Student Activity Center and participation on SHU’s Division I track & field team. “OPK taught me how to be a leader, educator, a community leader and a role model to others,” Herman said. “The feeling I had when I crossed over into my organization is a feeling I will never forget, and I truly thank my brotherhood for everything they have done for me to get me where I am today.”
He recalls that his positive experiences at SHU began with student orientation. “My orientation leaders were amazing, and so was the experience. Everyone was so friendly and open to meeting new people; and ultimately it helped me feel confident in my selection. The people I met that day are still some of my closest friends,” he said. “A year later I applied and became an orientation leader so that I could provide an even better experience to the incoming freshmen.”
Herman also credits the beginnings of his success to SHU. “Some of my first opportunities to showcase myself to the local community came while I was at SHU. SHU impacted my career a lot because my first fans/supporters came from there. A lot of my professional skills were developed there as well. There were and still are a significant amount of people from the SHU community that push us every day to continue to do the work we do.”
“We have been able to work with a couple of SHU graduates on various projects over the years. We have visited some of their schools, talked to their kids, performed at their company events or even performed at their weddings. Currently we have a student by the name of Christina Lee, who is in her senior year at SHU, working for our company as a project manager. We work closely with the career center to provide internships and job opportunities to students.”
Herman also works closely with the SHU figure skating team and provides professional instruction at the Pitt Center to students in weekly classes. “Giving back to SHU has become a focal point in our lives. We believe our message and story are important. Somewhere in the crowd there is the next Paul or Brian Herman at SHU, and we want to make sure we reach out to them and tell them that they, too, can make it, if they just believe in themselves.”