Darius Pettway was raised on the streets of Detroit. The way he was going, he was either headed for a life of drugs and long prison sentences or he’d be dead within months.
Raised by a single mom, who tried to keep him on the straight and narrow path, Darius found the streets of Detroit had a stronger call on his choices than church and football. Friends and close family members dropped like flies around him—either locked up for decades or shot dead by rival gang members and pissed-off drug dealers. Along the way, someone always showed up to help—a teacher, a football coach, or a family member; but it was never enough to make Darius change … until he was in prison for the fourth time, and he knew this was his last chance to either change or die.
Determined to prove his father wrong about his future, Darius forged a powerful new path in life, only to be hit with the greatest injustice of all. Would he ever survive the false accusation and possible life sentence of a felony charge?
In December of 2014, Darius became the first in his family as a student athlete to earn not only a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice but inducted into the national Criminal Justice Honors Society, and later earning a master’s degree in Administrative Science. With his vision and commitment to inspire change by never giving up, Darius has made it his life goal to empower youth to unlock their own hidden potential.
Read his story and know that hope is real and life can change when you believe.