Derek Clark to provide opening keynote for June 21-22, 2017 Michigan Teen Conference • Sponsorships available

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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 5. 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, a fantastic social worker 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.

Derek is an inspiring motivational speaker/trainer and the author of six books, including Disable the Label: Never Limit the Potential of a Child, Never Limit Your Life and the I Will Never Give Up book series. Derek’s true-life trials and personal triumphs have inspired organizations worldwide with his message of resilience, hope, courage, unwavering perseverance and redemption.

Derek has also been a featured expert on CNN Headline News, The Steve Harvey TV Show, The Ricki Lake TV Show, and other TV shows around the world. Recently, Derek has become a viral video sensation for his “Rapping Dad” videos which have had over 150 million views.

Keep up with his exciting journey by following him on Facebook: or check out his viral video Rapping Dad page:

Derek delivered a fantastic TEDx talk on “The Power of Determination: It’s not about your IQ; It’s about your I-WILL.” Take a look at this inspiring video and share it:

Here is another of Derek’s motivational videos that inspire youth: 


The Michigan Teen Conference Planning Committee invites you to submit a proposal to present a workshop and/or lead a group activity at the annual teen conference scheduled to take place June 21-22, 2017 at Saginaw Valley State University.

The Michigan Teen Conference is a two-day event geared toward youth between the ages of 14 and 21 currently living in foster care or independent living, and their caregivers and agency caseworkers. Take Charge in 2017 will give youth from across Michigan an opportunity to come together to learn and network with other youth in similar situations without being concerned about the stigma that foster care often carries. Youth will hear from successful adults who also struggled through the foster care system. The educational and motivational presentations will offer real-life skills, and at the same time youth will experience an on-campus college setting.

Download and pass along the Save the Date announcement!




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