“Pemberton’s beautifully told story is a rags to riches journey—beginning in a place and with a jarring set of experiences that could have destroyed his life. But Steve’s refusal to give in to those forces, and his resolve to create a better life, shows a courage and resilience that is an example for many of us to follow.”
—Stedman Graham, author, educator
Home is the place where our life stories begin.
It is where we are understood, embraced, and accepted. It is a sanctuary of safety and security, a place to which we can always return.
Down in the dank basement, amidst my moldy, hoarded food and beloved worm-eaten books, I dreamed that my real home, the place where my story had begun, was out there somewhere, and one day I was going to find it.
Taken from his mother at age three, Steve Klakowicz lives a terrifying existence. Caught in the clutches of a cruel foster family and subjected to constant abuse, Steve finds his only refuge in a box of books given to him by a kind stranger. In these books, he discovers new worlds he can only imagine and begins to hope that one day he might have a different life?that one day he will find his true home.
A fair-complexioned boy with blue eyes, a curly Afro, and a Polish last name, he is determined to unravel the mystery of his origins and find his birth family. Armed with just a single clue, Steve embarks on an extraordinary quest for his identity, only to find that nothing is as it appears.
A Chance in the World is the astonishing true story of a boy destined to become a man of resilience, determination, and vision. Through it all, Steve’s story teaches us that no matter how broken our past, no matter how great our misfortunes, we have it in us to create a new beginning and to build a place where love awaits.
Steve Pemberton is Divisional Vice-President and Chief Diversity Officer for Walgreens, the first such person to hold that responsibility in the company’s 110 year history. Prior to assuming his role at Walgreens, Steve Pemberton was Chief Diversity Officer and Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion at Monster.com, the leading global online careers property. Steve and his wife, Tonya are the proud parents of three children.
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