Like today’s Millennials (and Generations X and Y before them), Derek Felton had no idea what his life’s purpose was as a young man. After a dream of playing professional baseball failed to materialize, the Chicago State University graduate ended up in a string of unfulfilling jobs that left him feeling restless, unmotivated and frustrated. Then in 2005, while conducting routine research for a college athlete recruiting company, he came across a presentation video of a motivational speaker that would change everything. “This guy wasn’t a celebrity or some flashy, loud talker,” he reflects. “But, as soon as I saw the effect he had on the crowd, that was it. I knew what I was meant to do.” Now, just four years later, Felton has become an in-demand speaker and life coach himself. Through compelling yet fun workshops and keynote addresses, his words of encouragement, confidence and leadership have inspired over 20,000 students and professionals nationwide. His recently published book, Brilliance Is Your Birthright, expands on those core principles by asserting that individual greatness is not only an attainable goal, but a spiritual promise guaranteed to all human beings. In addition, his writings have been featured in activist Kevin Powell’s The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life (Atria, 2008) and the music magazine, Milk. Give this self-proclaimed Agent of Change an hour with your class or organization, and transformations are bound to happen. Using props, visual aids, or even just the latest hit song, he commands the attention of today’s fickle YouTube generation and gets them enthused about their future.
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