Steve Pemberton to be Perkins Keynote Speaker


A Chance in the World author, Steve Pemberton

A gifted communicator and powerful storyteller, Steve Pemberton will be the keynote speaker at Perkins second annual Evening Under the Stars, Creating Bright Futures Gala to be held November 3 at The International in Bolton.

Pemberton, the author of A Chance in the World, a memoir about how he overcame abuse and abandonment in the foster care system, is now a Senior Executive at Walgreens Boot Alliance. This is the first global pharmacy-led, health and well-being enterprise in the world.  Prior to being on the executive team at Walgreens, Pemberton was their first Chief Diversity Officer, and the only person to hold the position in their 114-year history.

Pemberton has always made equality, access, and opportunity for all, pillars of his professional and personal life. This is made more amazing by the fact that at one and a half years old he was described by a caretaker as the boy who would ‘not have a chance in the world.’ Despite the challenges of navigating a foster care system that had forgotten about him, Steve was determined to solve the mystery of his identity. It is the kindness of strangers who-unwittingly-gave him the strength to carry on and fulfill his purpose.

Perkins CEO Michael W. Ames, Ph. D. said, “We’re thrilled to have Mr. Pemberton as our keynote speaker. His message that small changes can make a big difference mirrors our agency’s work of helping people rise above their own personal obstacles. It’s an honor to present Mr. Pemberton and his remarkable story.”

A Chance in the World – which will soon be a major motion picture, states that you can believe in your dreams, rises above obstacles, create opportunities for others and most of all, persevere. At the core of his being, Pemberton believed that he could become a man of determination, resilience, and vision. He also knew that once he achieved his goals, he would work to help others.

Today, Steve serves on several boards for disadvantaged youth with a particular interest in young adults aging out of the foster-care system. Thanks to his work, Steve has been recognized with the highly coveted Trumpet Award and the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation Helping Hand Award. He was also recognized by the United States Congress for contributing to expanding opportunities for all Americans with the receipt of the Horizon Award.

The second annual gala, benefiting those served by Perkins, will be held at The International in Bolton on Friday, November 3.  In addition to Mr. Pemberton’s featured remarks, the sit-down dinner event will include a silent auction. Child welfare specialists, educators, mental health professionals and the general public are all invited to attend. For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities, please contact Director of Organizational Advancement, Kerry A. Flathers at 978/368-6449 or

We enthusiastically announce our gala committee: Honorary Chair, Sen. Jennifer L. Flanagan, Honorary Chair, Rep. Harold P. Naughton, Honorary Chair, Robert J. Paulhus, Dr. Michael W. Ames, Ph.D., Nancy Eckersley, Kerry A. Flathers, Carol Francolini Mueller, Walter V. Francolini, Stephanie D. Hyles, Deborah LaPointe, James Leary, Jennifer F. Luisa, Peter R. Stanton and Susan Templeton.

Perkins is a comprehensive human service agency serving several specialized populations of children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens.  For more information, please visit For more information on Steve Pemberton, please visit,