We hear tales of the good boy gone bad, but what about the bad boy gone good?
Cordell Jeffers is living proof that a turbulent past does not have to dictate your future, and with the right help, anyone can go on to achieve great things.
Growing up in inner-city Birmingham, Cordell struggled in class with an outdated education system too rigid in structure that we know does not encourage blue sky thinking.
This stifling of creativity led him to spend most of his time in detention, before Cordell was eventually expelled from school aged 14.
Yet what could have resulted in a career-less future, Cordell did a complete 180° and turned his life around to become a motivational speaker who now helps other disengaged youth.
Cordell says he is often asked how he made the leap from being kicked out of school to prosperity, and his answer is always: “I reconditioned my mind for the best chances of success.”
Over the years, Cordell took it upon himself to retrain his mindset and learn techniques that regrettably are not taught in traditional education.
Speaking about his rocky start, Cordell credits his mother’s decision to whisk him off to the Caribbean where his grandparents lived as vital to see the world through new eyes.
Cordell said: “It was a kick up the backside to see a different culture. A lot of the kids there have nothing but make the most of their resources.”
The gap year made quite the impact, and the following year when he returned to the UK, Cordell successfully retook his English and maths GCSEs before applying to college (and later studying business and marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University).
It was at college, during a chance encounter with a tutor, that Cordell’s future really shifted.
Writing for the Guardian, Cordell added: “He felt I had potential and told me not to waste it. He was one of the first teachers to believe in me.
“He gave me a self-development book that explored business and entrepreneurship. I started reading all sorts of self-development books and watching inspiring speakers.”
Fast-forward to today, and Cordell could be the perfect candidate to apply for the next series of The Apprentice as his entrepreneurial flair is proving unstoppable.
As well as being a motivational speaker in schools, where he regularly shares his story to inspire young people, Cordell is also co-founder of sportswear brand Mungo Sports.
The company complements his gift as a public speaker, with the business including school workshops activities on creative design about how to start your own clothing brand.
Not quite content with that, Cordell decided to throw another one into the mix.
Consequently, he also heads-up We Shine Together, a social enterprise that provides accredited training programmes to help people from disadvantaged communities gain qualifications.
Thanks to its success, the organisation is now recruiting young people for part-time jobs, with no experience necessary as all training will be given on the job.
So, if you are aged 18-24, or know someone who is, you know where to click… Cordell Jeffers.