Wednesday, October 15, 2014

From victimhood to victory

Motivational speaker Derek Clark to lecture in Ketchum

Express Staff Writer

Derek Clark rose from a childhood of abuse to become a success.
Courtesy photo

    Motivational speaker, author and musician Derek Clark will speak in Ketchum on several occasions this weekend. Clark is the author of “Never Limit Your Life” and the “I Will Never Give Up” book series.
    As a child, Clark suffered from extreme child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress before being turned over to a 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 loving foster parents and mentors, he defied the limitations imposed upon him.
    “Everyone is born with greatness,” Clark said in a prepared statement. “It’s a choice to do something great with life. Life is about being better, not bitter. Never limit your life. You can transform your thinking and find meaning.”
    Clark will speak at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum during a reception titled “Resilience of Redemption,” to honor veterans and their families with Higher Ground from 5:30-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16. There will be no charge for veterans and their families. For others, there is a suggested $10 donation to benefit Higher Ground veterans’ programs.
    Clark’s event with Higher Ground Sun Valley is in part due to his popular song “Goodnight Soldier,” which was his personal tribute to all branches of the military in appreciation for their courage and service. Clark has a dedicated website,, as a patriotic tribute to soldiers.
    A “meet and greet” session with Clark will take place at the Ketchum Grill on Friday, Oct. 17, from 5-6:30 p.m. with a no-host bar and appetizer reception.
    On Saturday, Oct. 18, from 1-2:30 p.m., Clark will present a youth program called “Never Limit Your Life” for middle school and high school students at the Church of the Big Wood. Tickets are $5.
    Clark will give another presentation, “The Spirit of a Child: From Rejection to Connection to Direction,” on Saturday, Oct. 18, from 3-5 p.m. for adults, parents, teachers, community leaders and others at the Church of the Big Wood. Tickets are $10.
    Ticket sales from Saturday events will benefit the Blaine County Drug Coalition’s leadership program for teens. All of Clark’s appearances are open to the public. Tickets will be available at Chapter One Bookstore and Iconoclast Books in Ketchum, as well as available at the door at the Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum for his talks on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m. for students and at 3 p.m. for adults.
    Attendees to Clark’s talks can draw inspiration from how he went from victim to victor by taking a disadvantage in life and turning it into an advantage.
    Clark’s visit to the Wood River Valley has been made possible by the sponsorship of Jim and Chrissy Field, who had the opportunity to hear Clark and were inspired to bring him to Ketchum.
    For more information about Clark’s visit to Ketchum, email Chrissy Field at

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