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I'm Dr. Derschaun Sharpley the president and founder of Helping Individuals Succeed (H.I.S.) located in Detroit, Michigan. Focusing on developing positive character in the lives of inner city youth and strengthening families, H.I.S. launched in August 2004. My desire to effect positive change in my community inspired this journey.

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 trained and mentored more than 3000 children so far! H.I.S. Agency manifests my belief that I am to be a light to children in the midst of chaos. These programs go back to the basics of etiquette and interpersonal communications, creating responsibility, integrity, respect and empowerment. My observations from within the 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 and jazz, and to pursue professional acting, modeling, and singing!

Later, I studied for and earned my cosmetology license after graduating from high school. I continued on to earn a bachelor’s degree in health care administration and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2013. I worked in the field of human resources, but eagerly accepted a position with the school board as Program Manager to be near kids. I facilitated programs similar to these ones, and loved it so much I’ve branched out on my own.

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 honored as a 2016 Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence, to caring for my son, I’m always side-by-side with the next generations. And that is exactly where I want to be.

 Board of Directors

We're Looking for Board Members!

Helping Individuals Succeed (H.I.S.) Agency is recruiting board and committee members who are passionate and share a commitment to our mission:

The mission of Helping Individuals Succeed is to provide training and resources for children and their families that will promote education, literacy, employability and the enhancement of social skills leading to expanded opportunities for productive lives.

If you have experience in any of the following areas: nonprofit finance, communications & marketing, fundraising, and/or prior board experience or training this is a great opportunity to contribute.  To learn more and to complete our self-nomination form, please click HERE for our board application.

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