Sentenced to sixty-five years in a Texas prison, Damon West (@damonwest7) once had it all. Damon West is a college professor, nationally known keynote speaker, and best-selling author of The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change. His first book and autobiography, The Change Agent: How a Former College QB Sentenced to Life in Prison Transformed His World, was published just three years after his release from a Texas maximum-security prison.
At 20 years old, Damon was a Division 1 starting quarterback at the University of North Texas, when he suffered a career-ending injury. He turned to hard-core drugs to cope with the disappointments of life. After graduation, he worked in the United States Congress, was a national fundraiser on a U.S. Presidential campaign, and eventually trained to be a stock-broker for United Bank of Switzerland (UBS). One day at UBS, he was introduced to methamphetamines; he became instantly hooked—and the lives of so many innocent people would forever be changed by the choices he made in order to feed his insatiable meth habit.
After a fateful discussion during his incarceration with a seasoned convict, Damon learned that, like a coffee bean, changing with the application of heat and pressure, he was capable of changing the environment around him. Armed with a program of recovery and a miraculous second chance at life, Damon emerged from over seven years of prison a changed man. His story of redemption, grit, and determination continues to inspire audiences today.
Today, Damon lives a life of recovery and service, going to meetings and sharing his story all over the country with schools, churches, athletic teams, corporations, conferences, and inside correctional facilities. Over the past few years, he has been sharing the Coffee Bean lesson with dozens of college football teams such as Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, and countless schools and businesses. His #BeACoffeeBean message has inspired thousands from Walmart to the US Army to the NBA, and now, with this podcast, to the Future Ready audience. In this podcast, Damon shares his personal story of resilience, and how school and district leaders can lead through these unprecedented times!
Guest: Damon West
Keynote Speaker & bestselling author of The Coffee Bean
Host: Thomas C. Murray
Director of Innovation
Future Ready Schools
Audio Credit: MB01GN29HGUXKKK
Listen to the Podcast