Derek Clark Childhood Trauma Motivational Speaker

Our Testimonials

Read What Audience Members, Conference Planners and Event Coordinators Are Saying About Motivational Speaker Derek Clark!

Thank you so much for your wonderful keynote presentation! It was the best keynote that we’ve had in years and we’ve had some great ones!!! – Arkansas Counseling Association

Thank you so much for being the keynote for our conference.  From the evaluations, your presentation was the highlight of the conference.  Many were touched by your story and your success.  They felt very honored that you would come and speak to them.  Many of them commented that they were inspired to continue to reach out and not let go of that “difficult” teen or child.  It was an honor to meet you and have you among us.  Thanks again and much continued success to you. – University of Alabama

Thank you for your inspiring presentation.  Many of our evaluations gave your presentation a perfect score!   Your more than stellar evaluation is completely unprecedented in the history of our conference!

What you taught us was childhood trauma and suffering does not provide us with an excuse for our problems.  It gives the origins of our problems but not relieving us of the responsibility to understand and to improve ourselves.  Do not blame those from the past, but use the insight to refocus on the good effects  to free ourselves from its harmful ones.  What a wonderful message, spoken by such a unique, and humble person as yourself.- Dr. Jackson

You saved a life today

Derek Clark, you seriously were the best keynote speaker I have ever heard!

Here is a wonderful letter from a conference planner who discusses the audience’s feedback about motivational speaker Derek Clark’s powerful and inspiring keynote!

Dear Derek,

Thank you so much for your participation at the Texas Child Care Administrators Conference, It Starts with Us: Paving the Way for Our Children’s Future, held in San Antonio last month.

This year’s conference hosted a record-breaking 727 nonprofit leaders and child care administrators from around Texas providing them with valuable networking opportunities and training on working with children and youth removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.

Your keynote, The Spirit of a Child: From Rejection to Connection to Direction, was very well received with your average overall score of 5 out of 5.

Respondents’ comments included:

• Awesome, excellent, inspirational, outstanding, powerful, motivating, enlightening, amazing, captivating, great
• Best motivating keynote ever.
• Fantastic combination of storytelling and wise advice about how to understand and connect with children from hard places.
• This was an awesome training. To better understand youth and children in care from the perspective of a former child in care that rose above what he was labeled.
• Loved his music!
• Thank you for reminding us why we do what we do.
• Interesting, informative and entertaining
• Derek is the best and I have a new appreciation for rap!
• Thank you Derek for being willing to share and be so vulnerable. Bless you a thousand times for your miraculous gift to the world!
• Great story and great reminder of the reality of human connection and its power to heal.
• Derek was completely what we all need a reminder of – it only takes one foster family to make a difference!
• You are a blessing and a breath of fresh air as a reminder of why we do this extremely difficult work!
• Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us that all kids can connect when given the opportunity.
• His sharing made him human and admirable.
• Amazing story. I could relate to his foster mom and got some comfort for my own foster son.

• The presenter is amazing.
• Very powerful.
• Epic!
• Great examples from personal experience. He speaks to the heart about real life situations and actions.
• The most inspirational speaker I’ve ever seen!
• Thank you for recharging my batteries!
• Renewed my passion for working with kids.
• I really appreciate the take-aways we can now apply to our work and our own personal lives. Loved the quotes.
• All foster kids would benefit from his work.
• Great inspiring stories of words of wisdom that I can use with my kids.

Thank you again for helping to make this conference one of the largest and most informative for Texas child care administrators. We hope to see you again soon!


Nancy Holman
Executive Director
Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services

More Audience Reviews

  • “You have inspired me to never give up just because the times get tough”- Violet R.
  • “I can compare my life to what you have been through because I am in a group home right now. Thank you for sharing your life story with me. You are right, we all can be something in life.”-Lucy H.
  • “When I went into the gym for the assembly, I thought what am I in here for? I was like…okay, another guy telling me to stay in school, but when you started talking about your life, it really touched me. I was like, wow, how could someone live all that. I learned to appreciate my life a whole lot more.” –Meylen R.
  • “I can relate to what you said. Your songs are nice and they get the message across in a different way. Thanks for such a wonderful experience.”-Jordon D.
  • “That was so cool how you were one of us. I hate it when other adults sugar-coat things and talk to us like we’re babies. You have a great message and your songs are very meaningful.”-Fallon G.
  • “Derek’s presentation was very powerful and truly motivating.”- Marjorie S.
  • “It makes me more certain that I have what it takes to be the best I can be.” -Aaron T.
  • “Your story touched my heart. You taught me to be the best person I can be and to not blame others for the bad times that have occurred in my life.”- DeVante A.
  • “You speech had an impact on me. When I went home last night, I looked at myself in the mirror and said I ROCK-A gym full of students has never been as quiet and well behaved at this school and I don’t think an assembly will that respectful again. You really did make an impact on us.”- Megan G.
  • “A lot of kids can say their lives suck because mommy and daddy didn’t buy them $200 jeans. I could tell that your story really made them think about their lives. It really made me think about my life. I hope you come back.” – Ashley S.
  • “I thought I had a bad life but compared to yours, I should be grateful for mine. I have it good.”-Vincent F.
  • “I really connected with you. I felt as if you were really looking at me during your presentation. I have the power now because of you”-Michael T.
  • “My mom recently got me really angry and hearing your talk made me realize that my mom isn’t that bad. You helped me find love for my mom.”-Nick F.
  • “When I sat there listening to your songs, it gave me a better outlook on my life and it made me realize that everyone can make something of themselves. Your story sent shivers up my back and from now on I have a different perspective and will appreciate the love my family gives me. Thank you Derek for giving me that strength.”-Jackie V.
  • “Your message moved me and gave me strength.”- Steven K.
  • “I’m going through hard times right now but Derek Clark made me confident that I can get through it. I actually believe.” -Momier M
  • “Derek Clark to inspire me to continue being a foster parent.”-Christy M.
  • “Derek Clark inspired me to keep my head up and keep moving forward.” – Susana B.
  • “I was really amazed how Derek Clark lost so many good things in life and still had strength to be a good person. I will always remember “I ROCK” when I am feeling down about something.”- Belle G.
  • “You never gave up and that’s what really spoke to me. Now when I struggle in life, I won’t give up.”- Alora D.
  • “You taught me to never give up”–Mac T.
  • “One of your songs really hit close to home, the one about how you can do anything and be anyone. I will not take for granted a mothers hug” –Erica D.
  • Derek Clark, I’m glad that you are a motivational speaker because if ever I was put in your situation I would not be alive today. But now after hearing you speak, if I go through any of that, I know to keep believing.”–Chelsea B.
  • “I was really moved hearing about your past experiences. If you were able to overcome the experiences you went through, I know I can become a great human being as well.” –Johriel C.
  • “Derek Clark was very inspirational. He brought great insight to what I am doing with my life.”-Virto
  • “Derek Clark, I was touched by your life story. I realized how lucky I am to have parents that care for me and for you to still be here today and have not committed suicide or something is a miracle.” Tyler E.
  • “Hi Derek Clark, I have never seen a school assembly about how to better your self emotionally. Thank you for bettering your life which shows us that we can do the same. I can be whatever I want to be. I ROCK. You have showed us that there is no bad event that we can’t fight against. I will do the best I can in all that I do.” -Nat
  • “Your story has honestly changed my perspective of looking at life. It just proves that anything is possible and “I got the Power.”- Nathan A.
  • “Your story is very uplifting and positive.”– Baylee T.
  • “I loved listening to Derek Clark speak with so much emotion and feeling. It made me feel your life. You give so many people courage and comfort knowing that anyone can make it in life.”-Rebecca I.
  • “Derek Clark has inspired me to always believe in myself.”-Leesa B.
  • “You ROCK” – Sarah W.
  • “After listening to Derek Clark’s story, I am more motivated to go to college and be someone.”- Manny
  • “Derek Clark’s speech has influenced me to do better in school. It has taught me to take control of my life. I felt like I could do the tough things in life and that nothing can get in my way.”- Cody S.
  • “Derek Clark, I love your song “I wanna be a kid”. I recorded you with my iPhone so now I can listen to you when I’m feeling a little mad. It can calm me down.”
  • “You assured the students that they have the power to live for today and change tomorrow.”-Lauren S.
  • “Derek Clark,You made me look at the bright side of life and that I’m responsible for the outcome of my life. I could turn my life around and inspire my little brothers and sisters to go in the right path.”- Junior S.
  • “Sharing a part of your life with us meant a lot to me. The way you talked to us about your life made me feel good about myself for once. You said lots of powerful stuff.”–Sonya P.
  • “Derek Clark is such a blessing for what he does. He gives hope to all these kids.” -Laurence R.
  • This session was awesome. I enjoyed hearing about Derek Clark’s story from his perspective. As case managers, we read the files and see the kids but we don’t always know the truth of how they feel.
  • Derek Clark was very interesting, moving and has an inspiring and wonderful testimony. He was a joy to hear. He touched my heart!
  • When you were speaking, things surprised me, it was the notion of you saying, there is a reason why we have a dream so live it. I’ve listened to many speakers before in my short life but for once that truly hit me.
  • I loved your story and presentation.
  • Derek! You were one of the best speakers I have ever heard and I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story with us! You were absolutely amazing!!! YOU rock!
    The best training is hearing from foster youth and their journey in foster care. Derek Clark was inspirational.
  • Wonderful! What an eye opener, Thanks!
  • Excellent speaker
  • Derek Clark is Great, Inspirational, Awesome!
  • “Excellent”, I want to express my good feelings about this presentation. Thanks to him and also to the TFFA for bringing him
  • Great, very encouraging, don’t give up on the kids. Derek Clark was EXCELLENT
  • Best workshop I have been to. Derek Clark gives us hope when sometimes as foster parents we see No Hope.
  • This training has opened my eyes to help the angry little boy we have now. THANK YOU Derek Clark. God Bless you Always
  • Inspiring presentation. Derek Clark was entertaining and insightful
  • Dear Derek- On behalf of FBLA-PBL National Officer Team I would like to thank you for your inspiring heart felt message at NFLC Milwaukee! I know it touched others like it did us. We love your mic skills!! We were dancing back stage!!
    With passion
    2011-12 National Officer Team
  • Very moving story. Enjoyed it. I got a new perspective on things. THANK YOU
  • Very touching stories. Loved all of Derek Clark’s stories and feel blessed to be loved by my family.
  • Derek Clark is a great communicator and provides great motivation.
  • I was at the Milwaukee Conference for Future Business Leaders of America and I just wanted to say that your message was very powerful and very eye-opening. Plus, you totally rocked the mic. Thank you for speaking at the conference.
  • Terrifically Inspiring!
  • Very interested seeing and hearing the feelings of Derek Clark, the foster child. Hearing how he lived in foster care for years was so encouraging.
  • Awesome speaker! Derek Clark’s Music and life story were very encouraging and heart breaking for foster parents to hear, but one we needed to hear.
  • Derek Clark is an incredible speaker. I would love to see more of him.
  • The stories you shared from the pain of your childhood has made you strong. Thank God you survive so much pain at an early age. “Look at you now”
  • Great speaker, useful information.
  • Very informative and enjoyed Derek Clark’s real life experiences What a horrible life but what a wonderful man Derek Clark turned out to be.
  • His story is amazing…very hopeful. It was fantastic. Derek has unbelievable information. My soul was touched.
  • Wonderful
  • Fantastic
  • Spellbounding; the real story; inspiring; bring him back again
  • Outstanding
  • Very good presentation
  • He should have been on first to remind us why we are here. An hour was not enough. I wish I could hug you.
  • Inspirational! Good reminder of the strength of the spirit. Thank you
  • Excellent; thanks so much for sharing your journey
  • Derek’s story is a reminder of why we do what we do. I learn from these stories about what things make a difference – perhaps we can help others in the face of adversity
  • Excellent presenter; presentation
  • Bring him to Wichita in 2014
  • Absolutely amazing. One of the greatest presenters I’ve ever heard
  • Really good presentation
  • Really enjoyed – even though it brought up a lot of feelings from my past
  • Wonderful message; presentation
  • Not what I expected – much better. Great presentation; so many lessons for social services workers. Thank you all for bringing this speaker to Kansas. (and I have a better understanding of rap music, which I did not previously like).
  • A great presenter, fun to listen to, gave us hope!
  • This man was amazing. Wished it was longer time, bring him back for a workshop next year
  • Great presentation
  • Refreshing and restorative; why we do what we do
  • Absolutely wonderful; inspirational; will be purchasing; recommending
  • Excellent
  • Very powerful
  • Thanks for sharing Derek’s story
  • Great energy; inspiring
  • Our work does matter!
  • Inspirational, such hope.
  • The most amazing presentation I have ever attended
  • Loved this, great message, so inspirational, bring him back
  • Excellent, most agencies; foster parents need to have Derek as a presenter
  • Very good, excellent story for this kind of conference
  • Really enjoyed the way he shared his story
  • Best keynote ever
  • Inspiring, great speaker, truly a message of hope
  • Congratulations – you are a survivor; music was incredible; you are amazing, thanks for sharing your story; positive message, very impactful
  • Thank you for sharing your life – your story
  • What a blessing, God Bless
  • Excellent speaker, wonderful presentation
  • The best keynote I’ve ever seen. Thank you
  • Oh my goodness..this was such a wonderful presentation! I used up all the Kleenex at my table
  • Wonderful, great speaker, thoroughly enjoyed you. Thank God for you.
  • Amazing, would love to hear more
  • Thanks for sharing your story
  • Amazing! Best speaker I have seen in my 11 years of social work! Would love to see him speak all day long.
  • Very powerful story
  • Best speaker of the conference. Derek, you are an inspiration to all of us. You never gave up & let everyone know they should not either.
  • Bring him back for individual workshops
  • This was the absolute best part of the Governor’s Conference
  • Powerful
  • Exceptional. Thank you for being vulnerable; sharing your story with not only us but the world…many blessings as your life & purpose unfolds.
  • Thank you for sharing your story & investing in the professional development of those working with children & families.
  • Inspiring & uplifting, best speaker ever at a conference
  • Extremely dynamic. I will be checking out his stuff & sharing it w/the kids I work with
  • Would love to see a longer presentation. These types of speakers are inspiring and keep me on track & passionate about my work
  • Love the music
  • Truthful, funny, moving. Never change your presentation. Thank you for sharing your life story
  • Hands down the best
  • Thank you for sharing your gift.
  • This is why I’m a social worker.
  • Excellent – exactly what we needed to hear
  • Bring him back in 5 years
  • I could listen all day long. Thank you for all you do. This was truly a wonderful session and I have taken so much from it both personally & professionally.
  • Would definitely listen to him speak again
  • Your story touched my life but also reminds me why I do this job
  • Real life experiences help understand the work we do is so important
  • So motivational; really inspired me to keep trying with the seemingly unchangeable youth
  • Hits close to home; survivor
  • I like hearing about real life success stories from kids who have survived the foster care system
  • Best speaker I have ever heard
  • Most relatable
  • Thanks for the tears and letting me realize there is hope
  • The story was very touching and motivates me as a worker to view kids from a different perspective to better help meet their needs.
  • I thoroughly feel invigorated after hearing his message and will definitely share this with many, many, clients
  • A breath of fresh air.
  • “I appreciated when you talked about the importance of giving back to the world when nobody is watching.”-Connor L.
  • Derek Clark was a great way to end the conference. I can’t imagine having something else as moving.
  • I felt captivated the entire time. Thank you Derek Clark for reminding me as a social worker why I do this work and reminding me not to give up on any kid.
  • Very touching and moving story about just one person’s struggle with life. Derek Clark illustrated the need for forgiveness.
  • Derek Clark’s presentation was a great experience. It’s hard to believe what this man had to go through. A tremendous story, a breath taking experience for me to hear!
  • His message through the stories of his life really made me think. Derek Clark’s presentation truly impacts us and sends a very important message that I can use in my job and personal life.
  • I absolutely loved hearing Derek Clark speak. I cried the whole time. I am trying to help a 13 year old to “never give up.” I adopted him 5 years ago. It had been hard but you helped me realize that I need to continue to stand by his side.
  • Best session I have been to all week. I liked how encouraging Derek Clark was for the foster parents to not give up. Really enjoyed the training.
  • Derek Clark, Your inspirational message has given me the strength to forgive my father that I haven’t seen or talked to since I was 10. I’m 40 years old now. Also, to forgive God for denying my husband and I to not be able to have biological children of our own. Thank you for your powerful message of the strength to forgive.
    This was the most raw and touching account of child abuse and forgiveness. You Derek Clark are truly a brave person. Thank you for being so willing to share such personal experiences with us for the sake of education.
  • “Derek Clark, You are a very inspiring speaker and you know how to get thru to us “Teens”. You made me appreciate and value everything I have been given and accomplished more than I ever had before.”-A.R
  • “You showed me you can’t change the past, but you can change the future. I felt inspired from your story because I never really had a role model. You showed me I can accomplish anything.”-Carlo M.
  • “Thank you for being there for the less fortunate.”-Baxter M.
  • Derek Clark is Amazing/Wonderful/Great/Excellent/Awesome
  • Derek Clark Is Motivational/Inspiring/Powerful/Moving. Great Speaker!
  • Derek Clark’s life story had tremendous impact.
  • Derek Clark has powerful information for case workers and children in the system.
  • Derek Clark, I am getting ready to adopt and you have alleviated some of my fears for how my kid will turn out…
  • Derek Clark was an excellent speaker!
  • Derek Clark is a great motivator in both my work and personal life.
  • Keep sharing your inspiring message Derek Clark. God bless!
  • Derek Clark had a genuine and effective message that is very important and made an impact.
  • It’s always good to hear from a successful former foster care youth. Thank you Derek Clark
  • Thank you Derek Clark! I feel so encouraged to go back to work!
  • I loved how Derek Clark shared his music. It was original and really made me feel connected to his message. Derek’s story is inspiring.
  • This was better than any class I attended.
  • It was incredible the way that Derek Clark was able to connect his life and share with audience. I will share your incredible story with others and encourage them to never give up.
  • Thank you Derek Clark for sharing your story. I know God is real when I hear stories from people like you and even myself. Continue to be a light unto this dark world- introducing God to others through you.
  • Thank you for your amazing testimony! Sometimes when I feel that I have done all that I can to help the kids I work with and feel like they are not getting better, I just pray to God for his divine intervention. Thank you and I hope and pray God continues to use you for his glory!
  • Thank you Derek Clark! Most incredible, powerful workshop yet. What a testimony. You have blessed my life with your words, your song, and your presence. I thank God for you.
  • He was so real with his message. He shared so much in his words. He made it real that what we as a group of people do is a good thing.
  • Hi Derek Clark, I am so blessed to have heard your story. I grew up with alcohol and verbal abuse. The scars took a long time to heal. Forgiveness is a powerful thing. My daughter, whom I adopted, has a biological mom that had a background similar to yours. I am so blessed to stop the cycle by being a loving, caring and loyal mom. I will keep you in prayer.
  • Derek Clark, You really spoke to me today! My mother suffered years of foster care with abusers both physically and sexually. She is the most amazing mother and now that I am 30 we are best friends. Unfortunately, my mother has never been able to forgive- but she has always some how been a loving and amazing mother and is a loving grandmother to my son. I wish she could have heard you today. You may have been able to help her heal. Thank you for being such an inspiration and for sharing all of your life’s journey with us! God Bless!
  • Thank you for your courage to share your story and music. It touched me deeply. You helped validate my commitments” –Susan G.
  • “Wow, Amazing! I am speechless!- Angel R.
  • “Thanks Derek. I was going to give my life up but now I realize that everything could affect my family. You made me feel very good and gave me hope.” –F.D.
  • “Derek has inspired me to work harder everyday for all of the youth in my life.” –Heidi E.
  • “I feel very inspired, very touched and very powerful.” –Jen M.
  • “I was shocked and amazed at how much he could relate to me.” –G.
  • “It was the best experience ever that I have had!!!” –A.
  • “I like that he taught that when we set our minds on something we can achieve it.” –E.
  • “We can be anything we want! If we work hard at it. As Derek says-I GOT THE POWER!”
  • “I feel inspired! It made me feel relieved that I’m not the only one out there that has been hurt and that I’m not alone. I LOVED IT! He says that we can be whoever we want to be! He answered the question that has always bothered me, That I can be somebody.”

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