Donovan Tolbert is a former NCAA Division 1 student athlete who was ranked among the Top 1% in the nation. He is also accredited with breaking his own personal, school, and field house record in the triple jump. Many would refer to him as a champion, however, he was constantly overlooked and ignored during his early years of life. Even after earning a spot on his high school team, Donovan recalls the inadequate feeling of being an underdog in his academics and athletics. Success seemed so far-fetched that over a period of time, as a youngster, he developed a very weak mindset. He had an array of limiting beliefs as a student, athlete, and eventually as an individual.
At Donovan’s lowest point, he made the wise decision to ask for help and seek the support of his parents, coaches, teachers, and mentors. Through these personal interactions with positive influences, he was able to develop successful strategies which began to strengthen his mindset. As Donovan continued to implement these strategies, he began to excel all the way up becoming a 2-time gold medalist, record holder, and a Top 9 ranked national competitor by ESPN! He solidified his place, stamping a mark in history.
Donovan’s profound journey, going from Zero to Hero, made such an impact in his community that he devoted himself to continue sharing his story. He used his unique life experience to craft the signature speech "Overcome Your Impossible." Donovan made the jump from the field to the stage becoming an award winning motivational speaker. His purpose in life now, is utilizing his voice as a positive influence, as he strives to make an impact on over 50,000 students, student athletes, coaches, administrators, and support staff each school year. Donovan has become accustomed to success and has made excellence his standard. He attributes it all to the character development received from his family, coaches, and educators.
Donovan Tolbert has become passionate in replicating his success in other students, and uses research-based social-emotional learning strategies to improve student retention, increase graduation rates, and boost academic success.
Donovan's "why" is the fact that he is a father first with little ones (Christian and Khaleesi) that are depending on him and he wants them both to grow up seeing their father achieve his purpose in life. He wants to inspire Christian and Khaleesi with the core principles that they can achieve anything in life with a crazy amount of faith and a crazy amount of work ethic combined. Donovan understands that children do not always do what we say, but that children primarily do what we do. So to show both of his kids first hand what it looks like to have a burning desire and to chase their purpose in life, is why Donovan continues to wake up with enthusiasm each day that begins.
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