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Damon  West

Damon West

M.S. in Criminal Justice with a Life-Sentence on Parole, Keynote Speaker & Addiction, Recovery and Behavioral Health Advocate

Biography

Damon West, M.S. Criminal Justice, is a motivational speaker and best-selling co-author (with best-selling author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon) of The Coffee Bean: A simple Lesson to Create Positive Change. His first book and autobiography, The Change Agent: How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed His World, was published just three years after his release from a Texas maximum-security prison. Read More >

Sentenced to sixty-five years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities to reach any goal. A natural born leader, an athlete with good looks and charm, he appeared to be the all-American kid pursuing his dreams.

Underneath this facade, however, was an addict in the early stages of disease. After suffering childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter at the age of nine, Damon began putting chemicals into his body to alter the way he felt.

Damon’s career as a Division 1 quarterback at the University of North Texas came to a premature end, after suffering an injury against Texas A&M. After graduation, he worked in the United States Congress, was a national fundraiser on a U.S. Presidential campaign and eventually trained to be a stock-broker for United Bank of Switzerland (UBS). One day at UBS, he was introduced to methamphetamines; he became instantly hooked—and the lives of so many innocent people would forever be changed by the choices he made in order to feed his insatiable meth habit.

After a fateful discussion during his incarceration with a seasoned convict, Damon had a spiritual awakening. He learned that, like a coffee bean changing with the application of heat and pressure, he was capable of changing the environment around him. Armed with a program of recovery, a renewed faith, and a miraculous second chance at life, Damon emerged from over seven years of prison a changed man. His story of redemption, grit and determination continues to inspire audiences today.

Today, Damon lives a life of recovery and service, going to meetings and sharing his story all over the country with schools, church's, athletic teams, corporations, conferences and inside correctional facilities. Over the past few years, he has been sharing the Coffee Bean lesson with dozens of college football teams such as Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, and countless schools and businesses. His #coffeebeans message has inspired thousands, winning him the Service to Mankind Award in 2017. He works as a legal assistant for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, Texas and recently earned his master’s degree, in Criminal Justice, from Lamar University.

Damon’s message connects with audiences on a level rarely before seen, as evidenced by the lengthy and thought-provoking Q&A following each presentation. His ability to articulate his story is proof that sometimes they lock-up the right person.

Damon’s story has been featured both nationally and globally. His second book, The Coffee Bean, co-authored with best-selling author Jon Gordon, became an instant best-seller. Damon is passionate about the Coffee Bean message and loves sharing how it changed his life and how it can change yours, too. He is excited about the Coffee Bean Clubs that are being started by students at schools across the country.

“It is my hope that my story, my example, can show others they are capable of way more than they think. In order to stem the flow of pain in society, it is incumbent upon each of us, whether in life, in school or in business, to be like the coffee bean from my story.” – Damon West Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Meet Damon West

Coffee Bean

Life Beyond the Game

Your Past Doesn't Define You

Lamar University Commencement Speech

Life on the Rock

NCAA Record Holder

Nick Saban

Your Past Is Your Lesson

Position Determines Perspective

Servant Leadership: The Secret To Life

Designed for school assemblies, community groups and athletes, this program is focused and personalized for school-aged audiences everywhere. Before coming in to speak to your group, Damon will learn what the most serious issues are in your community and address them as part of his presentation. This event begins with a two-minute video introducing Damon and a PowerPoint presentation plays behind him as speaks to his audience, bringing awareness to addiction and recovery and encouraging the audience to be a positive force for change. Additionally, Damon will end with a Call To Action, to be like the coffeebean from his story. At the conclusion of the event, Damon will field questions from the audience on any and all topics he discussed.

Overcoming Adversity: The Damon West Story

In this intimate and personal presentation, Damon shares his cautionary tale and message of hope in a brutally honest presentation with a microphone and PowerPoint playing behind him. This event begins with a two-minute video introducing Damon. The PowerPoint is controlled remotely by Damon, highlighting and narrating, with pictures and videos, the life-lessons (good and bad) he learned along the way. Damon takes his audience on an emotional journey from childhood sexual abuse, adolescent addiction and living with ADHD, playing Division 1 football, working in the United States Congress and ultimately working for one of the biggest Wall Street banks, UBS, before being introduced to meth. His nightmare life of meth-addicted crime and receiving the maximum punishment (Life) is vividly described. The survival stories on the life-sentence building inside a Texas maximum security prison and the lessons he learned while incarcerated, which ultimately delivered him into recovery, are spell-binding and riveting. Additionally, Damon will end with a Call To Action, to be like the coffeebean from his story. At the conclusion of the event, Damon will field questions from the audience on any and all topics he discussed.

Core Values of Your Team: Inspire to Your Full Potential

This presentation is designed for businesses and corporations to realize their full potential and stay ahead of the competition. For maximum effectiveness, Damon will personalize his story with the core values and goals of your business or organization, splicing valuable lessons and life-changing realizations he learned along the way (both in maximum security prison and after he was paroled) with your organization’s story and mission statement. Damon will build a PowerPoint (subject to your approval) to deliver one of the most powerful stories of overcoming adversity against the most extreme odds. The themes of character, grit, goals, determination and winning the day are paramount in this presentation. Additionally, Damon will end with a Call To Action, to be like the coffeebean from his story. At the conclusion of the event, Damon will field questions from the audience on any and all topics he discussed.

Position Determines Perspective: The Healthy Student

Through his position in life, Damon offers the students a unique perspective on life-balance, discipline, choices, and the consequences of decisions. Using his collegiate experience as both a student-athlete and a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Damon expands on misguided priorities, drug and alcohol abuse, and the forks-in-the-road he faced. This event begins with a two-minute video introducing Damon and a PowerPoint presentation plays behind him as speaks to his audience. At the conclusion of the event, Damon will field questions from the audience on any and all topics he discussed.