Motivational speaker Derek Clark delivers an inspiring TED speech on the power of determination. Derek’s story is one of resilience and redemption. Thirteen years of Derek’s early life was spent in the San Francisco bay area foster care system. Before entering foster care, Derek suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress, Derek knows first hand on how to cope with adversity and overcoming hardship. His past reflects a life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress and overwhelming anxiety. He has experienced the life of fear and rejection and much more.
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 and a half 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 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. He shares with his audiences inspiration and the tools that he uses to live with tenacity – (persistent determination) and is a firm believer that your life gets better when you begin to become aware, heal and purposely decide to not let the past infect your future.
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