Derek Clark knows firsthand the trials of a hard knock life. His youth presentations are based upon his childhood experience of parental abandonment, his life as a troubled youth and how he found the courage and the power to change the direction of his life. As a child/youth in foster care for 13 years, Derek faced many extremes of humility, humiliation, loneliness, aggression, emotional distress, anger, violence and overwhelming anxiety.
At five years old, his mother and stepfather turned him over to the county social services. Derek has never known his father. County records state his father was in prison for the criminally insane. Derek suffered severe child abuse and was troubled as a foster child. He has been "labeled and misdiagnosed" in almost every psychological evaluation. Being a child afflicted with numerous emotional and mental disturbances, authorities considered keeping him in a psychiatric institution. Some of these behavioral patterns continued to follow Derek as he became a teenager.
Becoming a teenager is an important time. Derek has learned some very difficult lessons as a troubled teenager. He reveals how he overcame his adversities and how he triumphed in his personal life. He takes you down his road of lessons that he has learned of hate, anger, mistrust in adults, violent tendencies, rejection, lack of love, child abuse and the memories that have haunted his life. Derek believes he has successfully thrived as a leader in life because of his painful past. He changed his mental mindset from victim to victor.
Since achieving his professional dreams, Derek's life mission has become helping others find the mental strength to recognize and take advantage of opportunities. His keynotes are based on true life trials and triumphs, and have inspired thousands of students to have the mental strength to overcome adversity and fear. His purpose is to cultivate responsibility, drive, focus, and the courage to take action.
He now lives a life of happiness. He inspires youth and adults across the world to never give up and to not let the past limit their incredible future. He believes it all comes down to a choice, self-value and taking responsibility for the direction of your life.