This is the true story (poem I wrote as a teenager in foster care) of my life … A life in which horrific abuse, loneliness, and dark nights of despair rattled the very bones of my body, drained the tears of my spirit, shattered my mind into a million fragments, and left me for awhile plodding through life as an empty shell, a lost and helpless soul. I have breathed the air of the unloved, and suffered deep psychological and spiritual wounds due to abandonment at an early age by my mother and father. I have blamed myself for a past over which I had no control. My trust in people was displaced with hostility and anger. And yet, my spirit would not be broken. I have fought for survival in the name of love, powered by a dogged will whose voice never stopped telling me to NEVER GIVE UP! It is my hope that my words and poem will help someone today to Never Give Up and that your current situation is not your final destination…your best days are still ahead of you. – Derek Clark www.IWillNeverGiveUp.com
Derek Clark is a survivor of brutal child abuse and was abandoned at a psychiatric facility at five years old. He was then transferred into the foster care system where he would spend the next 13 years of his life. Derek is an inspiring motivational speaker and top keynote speaker on childhood trauma, foster care, child abuse prevention, early childhood development, adverse childhood experiences ACES, and boosting the morale of professionals such as educators, child welfare workers, juvenile justice, probation, foster care, social workers, trauma informed staff, child advocacy centers, CASA, department of social services, department of children and family services, law enforcement, judges, circuit court summits and many more organizations.