“Drake and Josh” star Josh Peck to speak on campus as part of What Matters to U series

After almost two years, What Matters to U will be hosting its first in-person speaker.

Josh Peck, an actor known for his role as Josh in the hit Nickelodeon TV show “Drake and Josh” will be participating in a moderated discussion at the University of Miami on Oct. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Shalala Student Center Ballroom.

What Matters to U, an agency created by Student Government in the spring of 2019, brings in high-profile speakers to campus to have conversations with students and faculty that would not normally occur in a classroom. Students have the opportunity to hear stories and experiences from successful individuals of all backgrounds and how they can take what they learn and apply it to their current journey.

Peck will be What Matters to U’s eighth speaker, following the likes of soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe, former governor John Kasich and comedian Ken Jeong.

The organization specifically chose someone involved in social media in order to appeal to the younger generation.

“Our main focus is someone who is immersed in social media,” said Brooklyn Stafford, the logistics co-chair of What Matters to U and a junior majoring in music business. “Our mission was to bring awareness to health concerns, specifically public health. Josh Peck was a good fit.”

Peck will provide insight on making it as a child star and the many pathways to success.

“The What Matters To U team and I had discussed bringing a social media influencer to campus, especially since most people dove into social media during the lockdown,” said Meera Patel, the chair of What Matters to U and a junior majoring in microbiology and immunology, and public health said. “Social media influencers are on the rise and Josh Peck not only offers the social media aspect that we are looking for, but a sense of nostalgia that students might really enjoy. We have been faced with so much adversities these past two years that my team and I wanted to be able to bring some light to campus.”

The discussion will be moderated by sophomore Niles Boyd, a renowned public speaker, and MJ Barnes, a faculty member in the School of Communication and Managing Director of Orange Umbrella, UM’s only full service, student-run consultancy.

“Niles will radiate an energy that will bounce off of Josh Peck very easily,” Patel said. “MJ is not only impressive on paper, but leaves an impression on you that lasts forever. MJ will definitely present that on stage on Thursday evening.”

Students can expect high energy and a fun environment. There will be a moderated Q&A where students can submit questions that may be answered by Peck. A QR code will be displayed prior to the event beginning.

“Our main goal is for it to be fun and for people to take away and enjoy the event,” Stafford said. “We want someone who students can relate to, connect and engage with.”

Students are all very excited about this event because they know Peck from his days starring in “Drake & Josh.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing someone that I’ve watched during my childhood on TV. I think he is funny,” said Jared Harwin, a junior majoring in business analytics.

Tickets have closed, but students who do not have a ticket can wait on standby to enter the event. What Matters to U allocated 550 tickets to be distributed.

“We sold out of tickets on the first day,” Stafford said. “I am expecting it to be packed. I think people are really going to enjoy the event.”

Students can start entering the event at 5:30 p.m. and seats are on a first come, first serve basis.