A Gentle Giant Stands Up for America


Derrick Boles

As a young child, Derrick Boles was raised in a single family household without a father, just as many young black children were then and are today. Boles explains, “Because of my low social economic background and educational history, my future was supposedly destined and projected for me to either end up incarcerated or deceased at a very early age.”

Despite society’s pessimistic view and the bleak statistics that indicate such children will never amount to anything, Boles overcame many adversities and eventually stepped outside of the box in which society had placed him.

As an extraordinary mentor for the NBA D-League, Boles provided mentorship for young aspiring players who wanted to play the game at the professional NBA level.

Like many other sports, the game of basketball can provide you with life-long lessons on how to work together as a team, become a team leader and how to use the coach’s constructive criticism as a spring board to strive for excellence.

Boles provided the young men with a road map for life and a compass to guide them as they sought to fulfill their dreams on and off the court. Whether you’re on or off the court, it is imperative that you understand your purpose, have a clear vision for the future and learn to lead by example. After all, a basketball career doesn’t last forever.

What happens once the dribbling stops and there are no more free throws, or jump shots and the crowd is gone? How do you transfer that experience into a much larger vision beyond the court?

As a mentor, Boles helped these young players develop the necessary life skills that would serve them well as players and as productive citizens in every area of life.

He may not have played the game, but on the basketball court of life, Boles is scoring three pointers in communities across America and around the world in a brand new game, metaphorically speaking.

Aristotle once said, “He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.”

This is true, but to be a good commander you must clearly understand and know your life’s purpose. It is only then that you will understand how to you recognize your own strengths and help others reveal their hidden strengths. Leaders can help you recognize that which you cannot yet see in yourself, but first you must be willing to trust their instinct to guide you in the right direction.

Boles has transferred his life experiences, while growing up, into a vision and platform that has helped him become internationally recognized as one of the top leaders and community developers in America.

It’s not about self; it’s about serving others in a way that gives them the courage to step out of their comfort zone, realize their untapped abilities and turn them into confident human beings who enthusiastically grab life with vigor.

A Leader of Leaders. As the founder of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST, Boles is using his God-given gift of leadership to change people’s perspectives and inspire positive action. The organization’s mission is to educate, engage, inspire and challenge leaders and communities to become involved. Through the organization, he has developed leadership programs for businesses, faith-based leaders and women, as well as prevention programs for youths, just to name a few.

Stand Up America is an outgrowth of L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. 1ST, another golden idea Boles envisioned that has begun to quickly take root. It’s about getting people off the sidelines and getting them involved in serving in communities across America. “This is not business as usual,” Boles explains.

A non-profit organization, Stand Up America’s mission is to challenge, educate, inspire and mobilize community organizations and leaders to “Stand Up” to find solutions to social ills through community empowerment.

If you expect changes to occur, you must begin with yourself. It’s not enough to speak about the ills of society and hope someone else will change them. You must be a participant in creating a solution. Boles is the perfect example of what it means to participate and “live by example.”

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About Exceptional People Magazine

Exceptional People Magazine is where self empowerment, hope and inspiration happen. I’m Monica Davis the founder of Exceptional People Magazine and my mission is to enhance the quality of life of all people by promoting goodwill, unity and better living through positive media. Through this magazine you will be inspired to reach new heights.

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