Odd Rod is a Perseverance Speaker who survived childhood traumas dealing with addiction, death, and neglect. He had an absent father and a mother who soon became addicted to crack cocaine after his birth and lost control and custody. At thirteen, the death of his 16-year-old brother caused him to be suicidal. He was in impoverished conditions where selling drugs seemed like the only option for him. He decided to go against the odds, take the road less traveled, and pursue his education. This decision later earned him a full scholarship to college (University of North Florida) where he created an open mic and a stage to tell his story. From this open mic, he realized that listeners were encouraged and inspired by his storied poems and started sharing more. He became sought after and began touring colleges with his work in 2012 after he showcased in NYC. After receiving a full crowd standing ovation at a TEDxJacksonville event, he was asked to speak at a TEDxTuscaloosa 2017 event. He was awarded another scholarship to the University of Alabama, where he heightened his understanding of communication and graduated with awards and teaching experience. He is currently the 5-time voted APCA's Spokenword Artist of the Year and has performed in over 800 schools encouraging thousands of students to "Keep Going" beyond life's obstacles. Because of his experience, his audiences have gone from 6th graders to C-level executives. He's been commissioned to write and perform in several commercials, present impactful keynotes, and bring audiences to their feet with his words to close special occasions.
Odd Rod's use of authenticity in poetry, storytelling, and multimedia provides a dynamically engaging performance of inspiration. His transparency, creative insight, and compassionate delivery are framed by experience, education, and love.