About Sam Bracken
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 for corporate, education, non-profit, faith-based, youth and sports audiences.
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. 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, Bracken managed to escape the home of his abusive stepfather and graduate high school with stellar grades. At age thirteen, Bracken made a firm, conscious decision about his future: “I refuse to be like my family.” Discovering his athletic talent, particularly his passion for football and track, propelled Bracken further down a path that eventually led to a full-ride scholarship to Georgia Institute of Technology. He boarded a plane with an orange duffel bag filled with all of his worldly possessions: underwear, one pair of jeans, and a few T-shirts.
With the help of loving friends and mentors, Bracken flourished at Georgia Tech as a scholar and a star football player. After his graduation, he committed himself to missionary service, where he met his wife. Today, Bracken is an executive at FranklinCovey with 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.