We had the good fortune of connecting with Darnell Caldwell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Darnell, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started darnellSPEAKS as a way to use my gift of speaking to empower young people, particularly those from under served areas. Coming from a similar background I realized that my life experience and insight gained from it can help students overcome obstacles that they may face in life.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
darnellSPEAKS exist to engage, invest in, and empower young to overcome obstacles and take ownership of their success. I accomplish the above mentioned mission through speaking to students, writing, content development, and resource creation. I absolutely love what I do. I love being able to impact the future by investing in young people. There are many awesome people that do similar work. I believe I differ in that I bring a unique set of experiences. I also approach every student with the belief that success is within the grasp of every student that is bold enough to reach for it. As a result, I’m going to give everything thing that I have for every school, program, and student that I work with. I got to where I am through educating and developing myself, failing often, and the will to keep going. No. It has not been easy. In fact, it’s been very difficult. I used to fear rejection. I’ve since come to realize that rejection is part of the process. In order to achieve what I want to achieve and impact the millions of young people that I will impact I must be rejected along the way. I’ve come to realize that every no puts me closer to yes. I want the world to know that no child/student should be written off. EVERY child has limitless potential and if no else believes that darnellSPEAKS DOES.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
LOL. This is a tough one. I am really simple. Spending time outdoors enjoying nature with my family is really exciting for me. So, we’d definitely be spending some time outdoors. We’d also visit the African American History Musuem of Dallas. As far as food we’d explore the a few of the Black owned restaurants of DFW particularly those with vegan options starting with V-EATS . Currently on my places to try are ITSO Vegan, Recipe Oak Cliff, Vegan Food House, and Shoals.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Think and Grow Rich a Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro and the Napoleon Hill Foundation. I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill in undergrad and again a few times as an adult. It was cool but nothing clicked after reading it. Think and Grow Rich a Black Choice, however, was a game changer. Though the books have the same premise the latter was a lot more relatable. Kimbro does a great job of weaving in stories of phenomenal African Americans and their triumphs throughout the book. It was so impactful that it even helped influence how I wrote my book, GONNA BE SUCCESSFUL: THE INTERACTIVE STUDENT SUCCESS GUIDE. There are many other books, individuals, and podcasts that I could name as well. I’d be remiss to not name my wife and my kids. My wife has been there at my lowest and when I had no clue. Looking at my 3 awesome children is a daily reminder that I have to WIN. As a whole a I have an awesome family that I greatly appreciate as well.

Website: www.darnellspeaks.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/darnellspeaks

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