Not long after graduating from Furman University, Derek Snook embarked on an unusual career path, and lived at a homeless shelter in his hometown. There he observed first-hand the difficulties for those who were trying to get ahead. Snook shares how he was challenged by someone whom he least expected. From this experience, Snook found the support and courage to write the next chapter of his own story, in order to help others find voice to theirs.
Once upon at time, Derek Snook imagined he would grow up to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. His life leapt into a different story when he chose to live at the Star Gospel Mission, in his native Charleston, South Carolina. Working as a day laborer, he built upon the insights he had gained, while teaching at a school for orphans in a fishing village of Kenya— the disconnect between those who want help and those who want to provide it. From this experience, Snook and Pete DeMarco co-founded a temporary services organization, with an innovative rewards program that incentivizes workers to fulfill their goals, resulting in better outcomes for the workers, the companies hiring them, and ultimately the community. ieslaborservices.com
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at