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Meet Derek

When I was 6 years old, my family moved us out of the city of Baltimore. I was the first black kid on my block, now in the suburbs. I became very aware of how different I was. How different my family was. I began shrinking, recoiling deep inside myself, keeping my voice quiet so I would fit in with the other kids. I truly believed that’s where my strengths (and my SELF) belonged. Hidden. I spent the next 16 years in high school and college trying not to shine and be everything I was. Keeping my gifts subdued. Not stand out. Not be threatening. I slowly began to find my confidence in my mid 20’s but’s it’s been a long road and one that’s still familiar to me.

I know what it’s like to live life on the sidelines, to be less-than and quiet. I know because I hid my true self nearly my entire life. It’s taken more than 50 years to know that life cannot be lived, fully and vibrantly, while hiding my way through it. Why did I believe my voice didn’t deserve to be heard and valued? That there was not enough value in who I was? Finding my way to those answers and unleashing my authentic self completely changed the trajectory of my life!

I now live life for ME! I live without concerns or second guessing my value, without fears that I will shine too brightly, without reservation or hesitation that my dreams and goals are 100% valid. It is what inspired me to become a professional coach and why I am so passionate about partnering with my clients and helping them do the same!

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Why do you waste your time with thoughts that weaken you? Imagine what you could be if you replaced those thoughts with ones that empower you?!

Image by Brandon Jacoby

"I first met Derek in January of 2020. The moment I met him I knew there was something very special about him. Before this meeting, I had always dreamed of being a model but I was always caught up in my own cycle of self doubt to actually make this happen.  I was not working on improving myself, even though I desperately wanted to. It is a scary feat to take on and this fear stopped me from achieving my goals. When I started working with Derek, I could never look in the mirror without finding some form of fault. My self esteem was faltering, but after I started working with Derek I slowly started gaining more and more confidence. He has only ever been positive with me, even when giving constructive criticism. Derek has worked to make this collaborative journey worthwhile, and I have to say he has succeeded. I have gotten away from the paralyzing perfectionism that so long has left me stuck in life. Now, I am actually working hard and enjoying pushing towards my goals. I would 100% recommend spending time in sessions with Sheri and Derek. Their encouraging spirits and individualized approach help to make you the best version of yourself. They never try to change who you truly are or mold you into someone you are not. Throughout the quarantine, I spoke with Derek every other week. Each time I left one of these sessions, I was even more motivated and excited about life. I am able to be honest with what is holding me back and figure out how to accept this and move on. During such a confusing and emotional time, my coaching sessions with Derek were such a source of energy. Talking about my personal experiences and being heard was an enlightening experience and I truly would not have progressed so far in just a few months without his guidance."

–Tori White, 22, New York, Student and Model

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