Gesu Portal Button


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed tellus ipsum, viverra vel pharetra nec, pellentesque elementum nulla.

Over 90% of our graduates complete high school within four years, in a city with an on-time high school graduation rate that hovers around 65%.

Best-Selling Author Shares Story of Grit & Self-Determination with Students

“Be YOUR best, not somebody else’s.” On March 27, 2018, Gesu School, St. Joseph’s Prep, and the Maryland Province of Jesuits welcomed best-selling author, c-suite executive, and motivational speaker, Steve Pemberton. Pemberton’s powerful message and life story inspired more than 1,000 middle and high school students gathered in the Kelly Fieldhouse to believe in themselves and to persevere.

Orphaned into foster care, Steve Pemberton was abandoned and betrayed by his caretakers. Against all odds, he prevailed, demonstrating incredible grit and resiliency for a young boy. Pemberton went on to hold c-suite positions at Walgreens and Globoforce, and published a best-selling memoir, A Chance in the World, which was recently adapted into a major motion picture

Pemberton also discussed the paramount role that reading played in his life, as well as the value of his Jesuit education. Books unleashed his imagination and a world of possibilities.

Pemberton shared life lessons that resonated with students: “It doesn’t matter what’s predicted for or of me.” He encouraged students to embrace resilience and to persist, even when the inevitable “no” happens. For Pemberton, what matters is “how quickly I can pivot from ‘no’ to possibility.”

He emphasized, “The things that haunt us are the things we fail to try at.”

Geus School thanks Steve Pemberton for motivating our students with his positivity, persistence, and message of possibility.

Listen to this KYW Newsradio story on this special event by reporter John McDevitt: “Best-Selling Author Aimed to Inspire Philadelphia Students with His Life Story”


Photos by Sabina Louise Pierce

See more on the Gesu Facebook and Gesu Twitter pages.