We had the good fortune of connecting with Derek E. Shelton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Derek E., let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am inspired by the three autistic young gentlemen I care for. Each day I work with them, they show me how much we take for granted in a world that can be so cruel and misleading. I feel so fortunate to be in their company.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was a small kid growing up, which opened me up to being bullied all the way up to my junior year of high school. I had a chip on my shoulder due to my father deserting my mother when I was just a month old. I was determined to someday rub my success in his face and became an achievement addict, excelling in school studies, athletics, theatre, modeling, etc. I eventually grew and ranked as high as the #6 long jumper in the United States and 8th in the world in 1985. I would go on to appear on the covers of 7 Hallmark Greeting Cards, do standup comedy, win 6 National Masters Division Jump Titles, become a Humanitarian, and wrote my autobiography, a Health & Fitness Tips, and co-authored a superhero story with one of my autistic clients, making him the 1st person of autism to do it. My going through what I did early in life I truly feel put in motion my success as an adult. My becoming an Anti-Bullying Spokesperson is something I am extremely passionate about and helping make this a better world…
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Since I suffer from OCD and Social Anxiety Disorder, going anywhere other than work and out with my girlfriend from time to time, especially since Covid, I’m very limited. I do love going to the beach and to outdoor concerts from time to time. Going back to my college DJ days, I pretty much like playing my old school funk jams at home…
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I owe my success to my late-mother, Frances Nealy Shelton. As a single parent, she raised six kids to be all they could be in spite of many hardships. She instilled in us a great work ethic and to treat others the way we want to be treated. Everything I did I did it with wanting to make her proud of me.
Linkedin: Derek E. (Scales) Shelton
Youtube: Derek E. Shelton