Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Amanda Chandler (Central High School)
As a part of the 18th annual Lionel Linder Journalism Camp, the Teen Appeal was visited by guest speaker Derrick Rivers, who works as an engineer at FedEx.
“With any dream you have, there will be a journey. With every journey, there will be ups and down,” Rivers said.
A native Memphian, Rivers spoke of his personal journey from Whitehaven High School to his current position as a FedEx engineer. His dad being his role model, inspired him to be a hard worker no matter what he was doing. While attending Christian Brothers University, Rivers worked at the Nation Civil Rights Museum developing the idea that “[he] owes somebody something.”
“[Because of] everybody that invested time in me, money in me so I have do the best I can,” said Rivers and he said refuses to not prosper.
Deeming himself a nerd and dedicated to his future, he was determined to graduate with his engineering degree within four years, beating the odds that were against him. After graduating from CBU he got a job as an engineer and worked at the FedEx hub as a side job.
But because of the economic downturn and his company’s lack of contracts, Rivers was soon laid off. Although Rivers was happy to have his job at the FedEx hub, he was determined to keep pushing forward.
“…Keeping myself from being just another hub employee was very difficult,” he said. “I was around a mountain of negative faith. I was a dreamer around people who were not. However, I continued to believe in myself and look for opportunities on the job board. In essence, I refused to let myself believe that the hub was my final destination.”
During the presentation, Rivers spoke on how being an engineer at FedEx has provided wonderful opportunities, such as going to London. He said he would like to complete his Masters of Business Administration and advance in his career.
When asked what his passion was Rivers said, “I have a passion for improvement. I love seeing things get better. I’m also very passionate about music.”
Although you might not see him on the next cover for a magazine Rivers said he has followed his dreams for the most part.
“Sometimes I don’t think I dreamed big enough when I was your age. I always dreamed of working for a company like a FedEx, going to the business meetings, and speaking to people at all levels. I guess I feel like I can make a change.”