Derek Clark: the power of determination

February 05, 2014

The Children’s Mental Health Network is pleased to shine a bright light on Derek Clark, a world renowned motivational speaker and great example of the diversity of subscribers to Friday Update. 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 a psychiatric hospital at age five. 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 and mentors he defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. 

Psychiatric reports stated that at the age of five years old, Derek had severe behavioral problems and fascinations of extreme violence and death. Neurological reports stated that at six years old, he had the IQ of a two year old and diagnosed him with erratic psychosis and withdrawn from reality. Having also been misdiagnosed as mentally handicapped and having numerous emotional and language difficulties, Derek never gave up. 

With the help of his foster parents, a great social worker and mentors, he has defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. From owning a very successful corporation to having a family, his maxim is to make no excuses. 

Enjoy his powerful TED Talk below and learn more about his world wide accomplishments at You will be glad you did.

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