As a person with a disability, Blake has had to overcome many obstacles and challenges over the course of his life. At the age of six months, Blake was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP), which was due to a lack of oxygen at birth. The Mayo Clinic defines Cerebral Palsy as a disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture that is caused by an insult to the immature, developing brain, most often before birth.
CP has made everyday tasks (ADLs) such as eating, walking, and typing extremely difficult. However, it has also taught him how to persevere while not being defined be a disability. It was ingrained in Blake by his parents and support system to never give up on his goals.
The confidence Blake found through his faith, family, and friends enabled him to attend George Fox University in Newberg, OR, on a scholarship through the Act Six Leadership Initiative (founded by Northwest Leadership Foundation and the Portland Leadership Foundation), and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministries.
Since graduating from George Fox, Blake has devoted his time and resources to improving the quality of life of others, particularly those who have been impacted by disability, as well as educating the public about physical and emotional hurdles faced by young entrepreneurs. He has pursued this through promoting disability awareness in public schools, mentorship, disabilities advocacy, disabilities ministries, and educating the general public through speaking engagements. Using these experiences as a foundation, Blake is now bringing his message of breaking chains to those seeking success in their personal and professional lives.
Blake is the author of Breaking Chains: The 6 Links of Turning Bondage into Tools of Freedom.
Through Blake's various speaking engagements, he promotes disability awareness and motivation to overcome life challenges to a wide range of age groups. Below are keynotes and workshops that Blake offers. Based on his previous experience, most keynotes and workshops can be modified for use in Christian environments. Other customizations can be discussed and may include an additional fee.
POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS (60 MIN) (K-12 Students)
Blake shares how positive affirmations have helped him overcome his challenges. Students are encouraged to give themselves positive affirmations, as well as classmates. An emphasis is given to celebrating our differences and using them to assist others.
STAND UP AND LEAD (60 MIN) (K-12 Students)
Blake explains how we can use our challenges to become better leaders. A strong emphasis is given to self-reflection and decision-making.
LIVING WITH CEREBRAL PALSY (60 MIN)
Blake shares his journey of living with Cerebral Palsy and the challenges that he has overcome. This keynote includes relatable stories about challenges regarding family, friendships, relationships, and education.
BREAKING CHAINS: 6 LINKS TO ACHIEVING SUCCESS (60 MIN)
Based on Blake's book, “Breaking Chains.” Blake shares his 6 step process of turning challenges into tools for success. An emphasis is given to the importance of self-reflection.
WHO'S IN YOUR CORNER: TEAMWORK & MENTORSHIP (60 MIN)
Based on Blake's book, “Breaking Chains.” Blake provides an in-depth look at his 6th link. This keynote explores the affect others can have on our successes. A strong emphasis is given to mentorship.
CREATING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT IN THE WORKPLACE(60 MIN)
Blake uses his experience with pursuing a career with a nonprofit organization and creating a business as a person with a disability, to explain the importance of creating an inclusive environment in the workplace.
CREATING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT IN EDUCATION (60 MIN)
Blake uses his experience with IEPs, assistive technology, and reasonable modifications to explain the importance of creating an inclusive environment in schools.
*Most keynote presentations have a 90 minute interactive workshop version.