HOPE AWARD RECIPIENT, DEREK CLARK
Inspiring Motivational Speaker and Foster Care Inspirational Speaker
Each year at the Teaming Up For Girls Luncheon, Florence Crittenton honors an individual who exemplifies the mission of the organization by making a significant impact in the community with the HOPE Award. HOPE Award recipients provide a Head Start, Opportunity, Positive Future and Education for children and are recognized for their outstanding efforts in making a difference in the lives of others. We are excited to honor Derek Clark, foster care expert and inspiring motivational speaker, at this year’s Teaming Up For Girls Luncheon.
Now in its 12th year, the Teaming Up For Girls Luncheon will be held March 4th at the Arizona Biltmore. This event is our signature fundraiser, and the proceeds support Florence Crittenton’s life-changing programs. The luncheon is intended to inspire and emotionally move everyone in attendance. We are so excited to have kidnapping survivor, Elizabeth Smart, as our keynote speaker. Her life is a demonstration that it is possible to overcome extreme adversity, by not allowing your past to dictate your life’s future. Her message really speaks to our mission. We will present our HOPE Award to Derek Clark, motivational speaker and an Ambassador for Foster Care Alumni of America. He spent his youth in the foster care system and lives by the maxim of making no excuses. Both of their presentations are sure to inspire.
Derek Clark’s life is one of resilience and redemption. As a child he suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress before being turned over to the psychiatric hospital at age five. His 13 years in the San Francisco bay area foster care system reflected an early life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress, overwhelming anxiety and being wrongfully labeled. Eventually, with the help of foster parents and mentors he defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. Derek knows first hand how to cope with adversity and overcoming hardship. His past has never held him back from accomplishing what he set his heart and mind to.
At five years old Derek’s mother and stepfather turned him over to the county social services but kept his brother and sister. Derek felt as if he had been deleted from his family. His father was in prison for the criminally insane. Psychiatric reports stated that at the age of five years old, Derek had severe behavioral problems and fascinations of extreme violence and death. Neurological reports stated that at six years old, he had the IQ of a two year old and diagnosed him with erratic psychosis. Having also been misdiagnosed as mentally handicapped and having numerous emotional and language difficulties, Derek never gave up.
With the help of his foster parents, a great social worker and mentors, he has defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. This has never held Derek back from accomplishing what he set his heart and mind to. From owning a very successful corporation to having a family, his maxim is to make no excuses.
Derek is an inspiring speaker/trainer, a featured expert on CNN Headline News, The Ricki Lake Show and The Steve Harvey TV Show. Google has ranked Derek #1 “inspiring motivational speaker” out of 16 million listings and is also ranked #1 for “stories about never giving up” out of 320 million listings. He is the author of six books including “Never Limit Your Life” and the “I Will Never Give Up” book series. His true-life trials and personal triumphs have inspired organizations with his message of hope and unwavering perseverance.