“Thank you so much for sharing A Chance In The World at Bridgewater State University! Our community loved your visit and we were deeply inspired by your book! Our students were thrilled to have an opportunity to meet you and find out how you achieved success from such humble beginnings.You unequivocally left a memorable impression on us!
It is clear that teaching the value of the struggle matters, that adversity, as difficult as it is, does not have to define us – but it’s how we respond to it that defines our future. As an institution that attracts many first generation college students, your story resonated with us.Your authenticity and ability to connect with our students was powerful. Thank you for helping our young scholars envision what is possible for their own lives. During your speech, you so eloquently demonstrated the beauty of hard work, perseverance, gratitude and forgiveness – it made us all appreciate our own surroundings a bit more and think of our own limitless potential. We were truly inspired! Thank you for sharing your story and for giving so many others a voice for their own!”
Andrea M. Garr-Barnes, Director, Center for Multicultural Affairs, Bridgewater State College – MA
“We are so fortunate to have Steve among the board leadership of The Home for Little Wanderers. He brings a thoughtful and important perspective to our programmatic and policy work as someone with lived experience in the child welfare system, coupled with professional business skills and acumen. As a dedicated family man with a lovely wife and 3 beautiful children, he is a role model to which so many of our young people at The Home look, for inspiration and a belief in the possibility of a successful future.”
Joan Wallace-Benjamin, Ph.D., President/CEO, The Home for Little Wanderers – Boston
“Steve embodies the principles of A Disciplined Life® that we teach our students–principles like ‘seek wisdom’, ‘demonstrate perseverance’, and ‘be open-minded’. When Steve shared his experiences with our students and their families at one of our graduation ceremonies, they connected with him right away and were compelled and touched. With his inspiring life story and his ongoing commitment to making the world a better place, Steve provides a stirring example of what we can all strive towards.”
Diana Shulla Cose, Founder & President, Perspectives Charter Schools – Chicago
“Teens from the YMCA of Metro Chicago’s Black and Latino Achievers lined up, even elbowed each other, to get a chance talk to Steve Pemberton – the role model who has it all – a successful career, access to Capitol Hill, a beautiful family. Well, he has it all now. And that’s just what these teenagers wanted to find out about. How did he – and how can they – overcome significant barriers in their lives?
Steve spoke to 150 guests at the June 26, 2012, YMCA of Metro Chicago Believers Make Achievers’ event hosted by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in downtown Chicago. He inspired us to look beyond a person’s skin color and background, urged us to support worthwhile organizations that help those at-risk and underserved, and totally charmed us with his easy going style and Boston accent. Steve humbled us with his childhood experiences and urged us to persevere through difficult times and reach out to those who help us along the way; in a few words, he cajoled us to take our chance in the world.
The audience – teens and adults alike – hung on Steve’s every word. Throughout the reception and afterward, they came back again and again, to ask a question and try to get at the essence of Steve.”
Laura Freveletti, Senior Director for Grants and Strategic Partnership, YMCA of Metro Chicago