Keynote Speaker

Examples of Presentation topics:

SECOND CHANCES: Steps to Overcome Obstacles and Beat the Odds

RESILIENCE & REINVENTION: Basics for Bouncing Back

THE POWER OF HOPE: Freedom to Change and Choose Our Attitude

To inquire about speaking fees, request a booking, or other arrangements, please email deborah [at] deborahstein [dot] com.

Deborah Jiang Stein’s personal story of resilience resonates with all.  Her search to overcome adversity is inspirational, for she finds triumph against great odds that began as a special needs and at-risk child: born heroin-addicted in a federal prison, Deborah chronicles the challenges that cursed her childhood, all compounded with her multi-racial identity.  After a life on the edge, she re-frames herself into the positive force she is today: writer, entrepreneur, mother, inventor… wild mind.

From rebellion to survival, Deborah conveys through her unique perspective that although progress is not always linear, it is always possible.  She encourages others with her belief that a positive attitude supported by education, creativity, and critical relationships are key to resilience and personal change. Deborah’s presentations are relevant not only for those in the margins, but for anyone who desires to transform and grow.


  • Prisons and Drug Rehab Centers
  • Social and human services professionals
  • Women’s groups
  • Social Clubs
  • Mental health services
  • Youth and at-risk
  • Foster care and adoption
  • Child welfare
  • Employee, business, and civic groups
  • Spirituality and faith groups
  • Addiction and recovery
  • And again, women’s prisons.I welcome more invitations.


“To have Deborah come into our facility and connect on more that an emotional level with the inmate population is immeasurable. The women in the audience were able to open up and bear some emotional grief and proceed with the healing and forgiving process.” —Felix Figueroa, Correctional Lieutenant, California Institution for Women (CIW)

“The challenges facing the huge number of children born to female inmates remains a significantly unexplored area for criminal justice practitioners and scholars. Deborah Jiang Stein’s work to explore her own journey as the child born to a federal inmate can serve to focus the attention of both practitioners and scholars on a relatively unexplored, yet critical issue facing the American Criminal Justice System.” —Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster (former) LAPD  (Los Angeles Police Department)

“What you contributed to the event was so powerful, and inspiring. I keep hearing about the tremendous impact you’ve made on our team. We often rely on data (statistics) to drive our efforts; but you lifting your voice about your life brought home the human connection and relativity. You are vital to the national mission to serve and support children and families effected by incarceration.” —Cynthia L. Graham, Executive Director, New York’s Children of Promise, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ulster County

“Deborah Jiang Stein’s life is a testament to the nobility of the human spirit. Deborah’s journey is one of the most inspiring examples of that which I have ever encountered in nearly 40 years of ministry…despite horrible odds, has helped Deborah to believe that nothing is impossible. If ever there was a story that could help us all have the gift of foolishness to attempt the things others say cannot be done, this is that story.” —The Rev. Howard Anderson, Ph.D., Rector, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Parish, Pacific Palisades, California

“What Deborah Jiang Stein was able to bring to the table in terms of her personal life experience and her family history was both relevant and meaningful to the young people we house. For them to hear that someone is making it in life despite the odds that were stacked against her is inspiration to them and brings them to a place of realizing that the  same can be true for them.” —Warden Teresa McCourt, Anthony Correctional Center (maximum security) West Virginia

“Down to earth presenter who shares her story of self-awareness and change with an honesty that gets everyone’s attention.” —Albion Correctional Facility staff member, New York

“Deborah Jiang Stein is not just an inspiration for incarcerated women who have struggled with addiction, jaded pasts or uncertain futures, but for anyone- male or female- who  have ever struggled within themselves to find their true identity and where they fit in our society. Deborah’s story is one like no other, yet we can all relate in some way. I look forward to working with Deborah within my Girl Scouts Beyond Bars programming for years to come.” —Rachel Green, Program Coordinator Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, serving New Hampshire and Vermont

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to support the mothers. When the mothers are struggling against addiction and incarceration, those villagers become harder and harder to find. Thank you for be willing to stand alongside incarcerated women. The fact that you can speak from several integral and intersecting perspectives, daughter, mother, recovering addict, lets  women know that they are not alone or forgotten, and that there is hope.” —Jess Kell, Kids-A-Part Parenting Program Coordinator Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility

From Inmates

“She stuck out in my mind by being born inside a prison. It takes a courageous person to say you’re born in a prison. She gives me hope for my own daughter.” —Inmate, Shakopee State Prison, Minnesota

“Proof that the cycle of addiction can be broken and surpassed as well as confirmation that success is still an option.” —Albion Correctional Facility, New York

“I feel I’ve walked away with so much hope and I know I can be a better person.” —Albion Correctional Facility, New York

“It was truly a heart felt experience as so much she said hit home for me. It’s time to let go of our past and look to a much brighter future.” —Albion Correctional Facility, New York

3 thoughts on “Keynote Speaker

  1. Tina Lavy

    I am very much interested in reading your book. I do have a question you may not know the answer to, but maybe your mom would. Did they allow breastfeeding in the prison? Do you know if you were breastfed?
    Thank you,
    Tina Lavy

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