Senior Executive at Walgreens Boots Alliance, Best Selling Author & Child Advocate
Steve Pemberton’s story is about defying seemingly insurmountable odds— overcoming abuse and neglect as an orphan in foster care to become a trail-blazing corporate executive, enlightened diversity leader, visionary youth advocate and acclaimed speaker. His best-selling memoir, A Chance in the World, recounts his triumphant life journey and drive to become a man of resilience, determination and vision. Now an upcoming major motion picture, A Chance in the World further amplifies Steve’s highly motivational messages: Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others, and most of all, persevere. Read More >
A Chance in the World Promo
A Chance in the World - Movie Trailer
A Chance in the World - Reunion
On Diversity and Inclusion
Hope Is a Powerful Word
ICON MANN 28 Men of Change
"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 Pemberton was wonderful. By far, he has been the best speaker we have ever had for our annual kickoff. Even several weeks after the event, our volunteers are still talking about his message and recommending his book to others. Many of our volunteers and staff have experienced raising foster children or work with children as caseworkers or teachers. Steve Pemberton's story provided them encouragement and inspiration. He brought a few tears to the audience, but they were good tears as he touched their hearts. I truly feel his words lifted everyone's spirits and brought meaning to the United Way message of 'Live United.'"
"Absolutely nothing but positive feedback. Steve was gracious, flexible and professional. He was amazing with the youth and staff in the morning, and touched them profoundly. Numerous kids asked for his book and have been discussing it since. His presentation at the event in the afternoon was moving and he did a terrific job linking his life’s journey to the work we do at Edgewood. I can’t say enough about how wonderful the day was!"
"You could hear a pin drop as Stephen spoke. He told his compelling story while incorporating humor, emotion, and seriousness throughout. He made sure to mention specific names of people in the audience and incorporated them into his presentation. He was a phenomenal speaker with a truly inspirational story and we could not have asked for more."
"Steve was a fabulous addition to our event. He spoke from the heart and did an extraordinary job of connecting his story to our mission and work. He could not have been more gracious to our many guests who wanted to talk and have their book signed, as well as to our students who he so smoothly worked into his remarks. He implored our audience to take action and to do something to lift our youth. We could not ask for more."
"Steve Pemberton was one of the most incredible speakers I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. Not that I ever doubted you – you set the expectation pretty high. But he blew any expectation I had away entirely! His message of a diverse world fit in perfectly with our programming, and his personal story had the audience in tears and standing ovation at the end. I’m glad we had the books ordered, because everyone wanted to meet him and thank him afterward. He is the nicest guy too. I got to spend a few minutes with him before the event and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him. All in all, he was the best keynote speaker we could have gotten, and I was sincerely praised for it. Thank you for your incredible recommendation. I really appreciate your expertise and insight for our event needs."
"Steve did an incredibly amazing job. Everyone, from our honorees, board, guests and president LOVED him! He is such a gifted speaker and articulated his story in such a meaningful and beautiful way. He is the kind of speaker that when you leave the event, you really feel changed. He was very moving and motivating. Aside from being a gifted speaker, he did an outstanding job mingling with our VIP’s at the VIP reception. Steve was seated with some of your major donors and their families. They absolutely fell in love with him, and I have a feeling they will continue to maintain a connection. I can’t say enough good things about Steve Pemberton. DePelchin would love to work with him in the future."
"Steve Pemberton was inspirational, engaging, authentic, and eloquent. Steve possesses the perfect balance of humor, wit, smarts, compassion and business savvy. All of the students and faculty said that they could relate to something he said. A huge success and a huge impact on the Phillips Academy campus on MLK Day 2013. You can still feel the warmth of his visit on campus today!"
"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!"