I'm Dr. Derschaun Sharpley, president and founder of Helping Individuals Succeed (H.I.S.) in Detroit, Michigan. Since August 2004, H.I.S. has focused on strengthening families and developing positive character in the lives of inner city youth. This journey was inspired by my desire to effect positive change in my community.
After years as a program manager for Detroit Public Schools, I now host One Pearl and One Star programs and other workshops independently. I’ve mentored more than 2500 children so far! H.I.S. Agency manifests my belief that I am to be a light to children in the midst of chaos. Another popular program I host is the You Are the Gift conference, where over 250 young ladies come for a day of inspiration that will expose them to dialogue and activities that will boost their self-esteem. I am now embarking on a nationwide You Are the Gift conference and speaking tour.
These programs go back to the basics of etiquette and interpersonal communications, creating responsibility, integrity, respect and empowerment. My observations from within the school system show me that many youth lack basic living skills, leadership and self-esteem. I show boys and girls simple and effective tools that build a terrific foundation for relationships, career, and confidence in all areas of life.
My commitment to this focus on building positive character among Detroit’s inner city youth stems from my childhood, my education, and my natural affinity for getting along with and inspiring children of all backgrounds. I thank my mother for having the foresight to enroll me in Charm School when I was eight! Like many others, our home was broken, and Mom knew that some simple grooming and manners would go a long way for me. It helped give me the confidence I needed to study tap, modern dance, ballet and jazz, and to pursue professional acting, modeling, and singing.
It’s most important to me to work where I am making a difference for our children. And to make sure H.I.S. Agency succeeds, I studied further at The Detroit Entrepreneurship Institute and graduated in 2006. Now I give children a fun way to participate in their own personal growth. I also speak or conduct workshops at various schools, committees, churches, and organizations.
From becoming a board member at the Detroit Lions Professional Football Charity, to being presented with a Testimonial Resolution from the State of Michigan, to caring for my son, I’m always side-by-side with the next generations. And that is exactly where I want to be.