In Declan's earlier years, growing up in a deeply deprive borough with low funding and gang-crime being present daily. He grew up in a single-parent household with his father who was a pensioner, and this taught him to become self-sufficient, this resulted in Declan committing petty crimes to get by. He became a member of a gang within his local area and started to commit more serious crimes.
In 2009, Declan's life changed forever; rival gang members stabbed him multiple times in another part of his borough. Luckily, Declan survived this attack due to a life-saving operation and spent nine days in severe risk in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). As his family feared for his future and safety, he moved from inner-city London to the suburbs.
Since that day, Declan has turned his life around and has dedicated countless hours to volunteering & mentoring young people from his former borough. Declan aims to inspire anyone who finds it hard to see the silver lining in a difficult situation or period. We all face obstacles in our lives, but he is a firm believer that regardless of what challenges come your way that you can overcome them and that you are your own worst enemy. Declan believes in the power of achievement for self-esteem and achieved a bachelor’s degree in International Business and a master’s in project management at the University of Portsmouth.
Today, he is a Project Manager within the IT industry, managing numerous projects for government organisations. Within his current organisation, he is also the chair of a young professional's network for the UK. Declan believes we can all reach our optimum potential, the main person stopping us from getting there is us!
Watch Declan in action here.
"Thank you for your presentation on the 4th annual Inspiring Young Men event! It was a great day and I think your presentation was very well received by the young people! Thank you for being honest and open with the young people, I appreciate it can be emotional speaking about challenges and reflecting on the past. But the positive learning of the journey is what is important and I think you were able to capture that yesterday."– Xanthippi Karkantou, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Hackney Council
"Once again thank you for visiting us last week, the students really enjoyed it! It would be great if you could visit us again. Much appreciated!!!"– Anisa Patel, Work Related Coordinator & Careers Advisor, The City Academy, Hackney
"The presentation was extremely well delivered, my colleagues and I thought Declan was very approachable, and had good presentation skills. The content of the PowerPoint was informative, as it explained in details the scheme. My students understood better the Erasmus programme. The personal touch with Declan’s own experience made it all much more real for the students. My students commented that it was useful to have a student presenting, and they were keen to explore the scheme when they attend university."– Marie-Flore Hodgson, Learning Area Manager (MFL & EFL), Itchen Sixth Form College
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