DeJay Lester was born in Columbus, Ohio. At the age of 2, he moved to Nigeria with his mom, a nurse, who instilled in him the mindset to never give up. She taught him to love, to care for others, and to always be the light in other people’s lives. While growing up in Nigeria held many challenges, his mom made sure that he was happy, healthy, loved, and safe.
DeJay’s mother became too sick to take care of him, and at the age of 10, he was sent back to the United States to live with his father, a man that DeJay barely knew. Upon his return to the United States, DeJay suffered abuse at the hands of his so-called father and found himself being bounced around the foster care system. He learned more than his fair share of loss and struggle. In spite of immense trauma and hardship, DeJay graduated high school and college and pursued his dream of playing professional football. DeJay would eventually document all of this, and much more, in his self-published memoir, Fostering Dreams: A Child’s Unique Story of Courage, Perseverance and Determination.
Enduring all those hardships grew DeJay’s passion for helping others. DeJay realized the obstacles of his own childhood and upbringing had created a meaningful platform to inspire and connect with others. He began working with troubled youth and started his own online store to be able to better help kids in foster care. While DeJay had to go through a lot of hard times, the lessons his mom taught him as a young child have stuck with him and he is now a kind, caring, and determined professional football player, author, entrepreneur, and humanitarian.