Today@Sam Article

Steve Pemberton To Share Story Of Resilience In President’s Speaker Series

Oct. 10, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

Steve Pemberton’s story is about defying insurmountable odds 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.

Pemberton will share his compelling story as a part of the President’s Speaker Series on Oct. 31 beginning at 10 a.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center’s Payne Concert Hall. A book signing will follow from 11-11:20 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.PembertonSteve630

The story of Pemberton’s challenging upbringing in the foster care system and his eventual success against the odds is a story of grit and resilience. Pemberton’s book accounts the abuse he suffered at the hands of one foster family and the kindness of a neighbor that triggered a drive in Pemberton to succeed in spite of the incredible difficulties he faced early in his life.

Known for his ability to connect with a wide spectrum of audiences, Pemberton’s talk to the Sam Houston State University community will amplify his motivational message: Believe in your dreams, rise above obstacles, create opportunities for others and most of all, persevere.

The Boston College graduate currently serves as vice president, Diversity and Inclusion and global chief diversity officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance. He is the first person in Walgreens’ 100-plus year history to hold the position of chief diversity officer, overseeing the company’s global efforts to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive environment that reflects the culture, people and perspectives of the many nations in which they do business.

Pemberton’s achievements have earned him national recognition, including the coveted Trumpet Award and the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation Helping Hand Award. He was also awarded the prestigious Horizon Award by the United States Congress, presented to individuals in the private sector who have contributed to expanding opportunities for all Americans.

As a passionate champion for disadvantaged youth, Pemberton serves on several boards including The Home for Little Wanderers and UCAN. He established The Pemberton Fund for the Future at The Home for Little Wanderers to provide help and guidance to children aging out of foster care.

The President’s Speaker Series was created in 2002 by SHSU President Emeritus James Gaertner and was originally underwritten by the estate of the late Huntsville resident Lu Ellen Gibbs. The series is designed to bring prominent leaders to the Sam Houston State University campus. Speakers are chosen for their ability to deliver messages of substance with the potential to significantly impact the student body.

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