Lester Sanders

Speaker. Student Advice Expert. Adversity Strategist.



Lester knows a thing or two about turning unfavorable circumstances, adversities and tragedies into hope and fuel for goal and dream achievement. While growing up in Canton, Ohio, he managed to navigate his way through the maze of numerous inner-city distractions, while residing in public housing until the age of seventeen. 

His journey cultivated an expertise in healthy and responsible Life Choices, Resiliency, Motivation and Persistence. Life Choices like committing to being a student-athlete to avoid the pitfalls of inner-city street life. Resiliency  to bounce back after failing second grade and losing a cousin and two classmates to violence between 6th – 9th grade. Motivation to never give up in pursuit of success even when he didn’t know what was next; and Persistence to be a full-time college student and work part-time to not burden his single mother, who paid college tuition all by her self, with his daily living expenses.


Lester earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Kent State University in Kent, OH where he concentrated his studies on prevention in the Juvenile Justice System and Positive Youth Development.

Currently, Lester is an Academic Program Coordinator - Rising Scholars, a college access program at Kent State University Stark.  Prior to that he was an Admissions Counselor at the University of Mount Union.

After 20 years of professional student development experience as a case manager, life skills facilitator, program director, college admissions counselor and college access program coordinator; Lester honed a rare gift to connect with today’s young people and a unique ability to inject information, knowledge, service, hope, love and innovation into the culture. Simply put, when Lester speaks – they get it!

Lester immediately captures his audience’s attention with interactive connections, the use of spoken word poetry, through thought-provoking stories and the right mix of humor to earn their trust: which opens the door for a practical, yet powerful message for success in everyday life.

Lester shares his message with thousands of teens and young adults every year at schools, conferences, college success events, organizations, camps and churches. 

He has spoken at the NFL’s Atlanta Falcon’s Youth Sports & Education Conference, Georgia Southern University's National Youth At-Risk Conference, North Dakota National Guard’s State Youth Symposium and even facilitated a pre-season six session 1st year student-athlete development series with the 13 time NCAA Division III Football National Champions, the University of Mount Union Purple Raiders. 


Lester serves as the spokesperson for ASPIRE Today, Inc. (Athletes Strongly Pursuing Instructional Recruiting Experience), a non-profit high school student-athlete development organization rooted in education.  Feel free to visit:   www.Aspire2Day.org