Keith Strickland

Keith Strickland

Motivational Speaker

Keith Strickland

I almost ruined my entire life before I had a clue what life was about or what I had the potential to be. I grew up in a community where I saw more homeless people and hustlers than dual parent households and professional adults. After years of overwhelming influence, I started to think the illegal activity I saw daily was normal.

My first arrest was for shoplifting from a local store when I was still in middle school. Directly after that I started selling drugs, I was about 13 years old. When I first started high school I could tell that my life was out of control and was leading me in a direction I did not want to go in. I did not know what to do or how to change though. I looked for a mentor but there were no organizations or people who offered the type of assistance I needed.

I was arrested at my high school after being caught with a large amount of money and drugs. I would never attend high school again. I was now an independent adult who could barley read but knew how to sell drugs and survive as a criminal. Every influence I had pulled me deeper in the direction I once tried to run away from. By the time I turned 25 I had been arrested over 50 times, watched hundreds of people be murdered, was kidnapped then left for dead in a robbery, and served almost 5 years of my life behind bars.

I was given an opportunity most people in my position never receive, a second chance. After facing 35 years in prison for another drug conviction, I was released early because the judge over my case saw something in me. I started a business, went to college and earned my degree, and was able to finally get my life on track. Saving my own life was not enough for me. Every single day I watch millions of youth and young adults heading in the exact same path I escaped from. I founded Making the Transition, Inc. because I never wanted another child who tried to change their life to fail because they lacked resources, guidance and support.

Every single day I watch children die, kill each other or throw their entire life away because they have no one there to speak empowering words of love, support and edification to them. Words are one of the most powerful tools we have. Words can rebuild a broken person, or give us the strength to continue. It was once said that evil can only be present when good is absent. I am asking for good people to be present and to help us save, rebuild and prepare our youth for greatness.

Hope is the most powerful instrument we can give a youth. hope for tomorrow. Hope in themselves. Hope that they can achieve their dreams, create a life that will bring them fulfillment and make something of themselves. It is possible to provide a child with hope, regardless of what they have endure. Support exposure, education, encouragement, and vital skills stimulate hope because they bring dreams within reach. Working together, we can provide every youth with this and more, ensuring their opportunity for a bright future.