About Sam Bracken

Sam Bracken’s debut book, My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change, has inspired thousands of readers to overcome barriers in their lives and reinvent themselves for the better. The impetus behind My Orange Duffel Bag—part memoir, part guidebook, and brimming with wisdom—is Bracken’s own troubled childhood and his journey to success.

Sam Bracken, who overcame homelessness, poverty, and abuse as a teen to become successful in business and at home, is available for keynotes, speaking engagements, workshops, book discussions, and panels. Bracken has spoken to audiences of all kinds, including corporations, college students, sports teams, and at-risk youth groups.

Bracken experienced violence and abuse from a young age, and his lack of guidance led him to drugs and alcohol by the age of nine. Despite the grim path lying before him, he managed to escape the home of his abusive stepfather and graduate from high school with stellar grades. Discovering his athletic talent, particularly his passion for football and track, propelled Bracken further along a path that eventually led to a full-ride scholarship to the Georgia Institute of Technology.

With the help of loving friends and mentors, Bracken flourished as a scholar and a star football player. After his graduation, he committed himself to missionary service, where he met his wife. Today he is an executive at FranklinCovey and the father of four children. The success of My Orange Duffel Bag has brought Bracken’s message of positivity and commitment to change to thousands of readers. With his wife, Kim, he started the Orange Duffel Bag Foundation, which advocates for at-risk youth. The foundation’s mission statement follows the same seven “Rules of the Road” found in Bracken’s book, and he strives to provide education and opportunities to young adults.

Praise for My Orange Duffel Bag:

“Change is hard. Everyone wants it. So few get it. In this one-of-a-kind book, Sam lays out a fool-proof, step-by-step approach to change through sharing his own remarkable journey from victim to conqueror. This book is a must read for everyone who wants to leave their baggage behind once and for all and become the change they seek!”
—Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleThe 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness, and The Leader in Me

“Sam Bracken is a shining example of the transformational power of education. A caring teacher looked closely enough at his life to take away his barrier to learning. That simple act launched Sam on his journey out of poverty.”
—Ruby Payne, Ph.D., author of the bestsellers A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities