Lead DSM Alumni Book Talk: Will Power
Wednesday, April 10, 2024 (11:30 AM - 1:00 PM) (CDT)
The book Lead DSM will be talking about in 2024 is Will Power! Join other Lead DSM alumni and guests for this once-annual experience during which a community leader facilitates a conversation about a growth-orientated leadership book. This year, authors Will Keeps and Danny Beyer will discuss the gritty memoir and life story of local community leader and champion for youth, Will Keeps.
We recommend purchasing and reading the book now, so you are ready for the April 10th discussion.
Will Power Book Overview
“It's not what you've been through, but it's how you get through”
William Holmes, aka Will Keeps, was born into a traumatic life in Chicago, Illinois. Feeling confused, sad, angry, and lost, Will embarked upon what he never imagined would become a lifelong journey to find answers, only to realize his deepest desire was simply to have loving parents and a safe home.
Like many other teenage boys in similar situations, Will found a form of love and security in a gang, joining at the age of 13.
At age 15, Will witnessed a rival gang murder his friend. When the gun was pointed to his own head, it jammed, but he was beaten and tortured nearly to death, leaving him badly scarred inside and out. Though he survived, this was only the beginning of Will’s second act, a life devoted to saving others.
Will moved to Des Moines, Iowa in his twenties, seeking to build a legacy of hope and opportunity he never had growing up and to give back to his community and the youth within it facing situations similar to his.
Today, Keeps is the founder and president of the Des Moines area advocacy group for lost kids, Starts Right Here, under his given name of William Holmes. Blending his love of music with his desire for children never to have to struggle through childhood the way he did, Holmes/Keeps moves through political, professional, and educational circles sharing the lessons he learned both on and off the street—that success comes down to choices and consequences, and that unity is the only way to break the cycle.