About the Author:
Antonio Stevenson, ‘Tiny’ to friends and family, shares his life’s mission statement on his website: “To educate, empower, and enhance the lives of our at-risk youth.” That statement is a lofty goal, and he means every word of it. He shares his experiences as a troubled child/teen with anger issues and how his personal network of mentors (coaches, family, friends, and parents of friends) continued to guide and direct him (willingly or not), never giving up, ultimately leading him to adulthood and giving him a heart for paying it forward.
Professionally, Antonio is a case manager for Goodwill Industries. He also runs a non-profit organization, My Brother’s Second Chance, targeting at-risk youth. He credits many in his growing up years with giving him a second chance – over and over again. “It takes more than one person to be a mentor,” shared Antonio. He has dinner with his mom once a week and speaks with her daily. In his words, “Mom is the spiritual leader of our family.” With a family of his own (a wife, three daughters, and three grandchildren), he embraces his past with the goal of helping others from his experiences to overcome and avoid some of the hard-learned lessons of his youth.
Inspiration for Lessons Learned:
Through the tough-love lessons and mentors who never gave up on him, Antonio is well aware that he was fortunate to survive many of his life experiences. He is inspired to share those experiences as examples for at-risk young people in the community. His background in football and his induction into the Forsyth County Sportsman Hall of Fames clearly show that the past does not define a person.
About Lessons Learned:
Lessons Learned is just that. Antonio shares many of his personal life experiences as a child (the aftermath of his father’s departure, his anger that, at times, was overwhelming and caused considerable pain to him and his family). His underlying anger continued to plague him throughout his life. As he shared, fighting was a natural outlet that he had difficulty controlling. With a remarkable host of people who believed in him, his talent, and his future, Lessons Learned is a glimpse into a person who, without that network, might not have survived.
Lessons Learned is a fairly quick read, ideally suited for sharing with his target audience. Clearly, he knows from personal experience what many of our at-risk youth go through. Lessons Learned gives an excellent point of reference for them, as well as an example that they can overcome their past. Hope is a powerful force to be reckoned with. As Antonio shares in the last lines of his book, “Through experiences, a boy becomes a man. He learns to take ownership of failures. He lets go of stubbornness and learns to accept lessons.”
Where to find Lessons Learned:
Contact Antonio at 336.462.6823, 336.324.3415, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via his website, My Brother’s Second Chance (his non-profit initiative for at-risk local youth). You can order Antonio’s book on-line from his website, Amazon.com, or BarnesandNoble.com. Antonio is also available for speaking engagements. He has spoken to church organizations, civic groups, several colleges and universities, and participated in the Gear-Up Conference held in Charleston, South Carolina (approximately 200 attendees from six high schools). He is currently working on his second book. Check his website for additional details as he continues to share his experiences as a testament for others.