Today, Tony Shavers III is an award winning self-published author, entrepreneur, and fundraising professional. From the outside world, it would appear that Tony has always had life figured out.
Tony grew up in a low-income neighborhood in West Oakland, CA, that was plagued by growing violence and a lack of community-based programs. He faced what seemed to be insurmountable circumstances. From fighting for his life as a premature baby, being bullied growing up, dealing with his father’s absence and struggles with incarceration, and coming to terms with his sexuality without sacrificing his faith. Any time things were going well, another trial was thrown his way, making him question if he’d ever feel comfortable in his own skin.
These lived experiences would make anyone want to give up, crawl in a corner and tuck away from the world. For many years, that would be Tony’s escape.
Tony struggled with self-confidence after years of being bullied for his feminine mannerisms. When Tony entered High School he didn’t think he would ever overcome his reserved personality. However, there would be salvation for Tony – a program that would help him regain his voice and purpose in the world. An innovative, youth entrepreneurship program called BUILD.