Eric D. Thomas
Eric Thomas is a visionary with the rare combination of youth, personal experience, spiritual awareness and leadership skills. He is the founder and Chairman of Break the Cycle (BTC), an at-risk program serving middle school, high school and college age youth since 1992. BTC assists youth in addressing their academic and personal needs by developing effective and relevant strategies and providing positive alternatives within a supportive community-based setting.
Eric Thomas is no stranger to the ills that plague our communities. He was raised on the streets of Detroit. His childhood and adolescent years were difficult, and intensified by family, social, personal and academic struggles. Finally leaving home at the age of 16, he became homeless and dropped out of high school, choosing a life of illiteracy, theft, gambling and other illicit activities. At age 18, instead of becoming “another statistic”, Eric met a pastor who mentored him and encouraged him to complete his education, obtain his GED and attain his undergraduate degree.
Eric Thomas graduated from Oakwood College, in Huntsville, Alabama in 2000 with a degree in Business Management. During his time collegiate journey he served as a high school English teacher, directed and lead instruction for community based G.E.D. program and as a community pastor of the Madison Mission SDA church. In 2003 Eric, his wife De-De and their two children, Jalen and Jayda, relocated to Michigan from Alabama where he accepted a fellowship to attend Michigan State University to complete his Masters degree in K-12 Administration/ with an emphasis in Educational Leadership. Eric is currently pursuing a PhD in Ed/Administration and serves as an Academic Adviser at Michigan State University in the Office of Supportive Services where he assist in the developing and implementing of their undergraduate retention program (The Advantage), targeting academically at-risk minority students which provide aggressive intervention meant to immediately and strategically improve the academic performance of all MSU students with special emphasis on categories of students with graduation rates lower than that of the university average; therefore increasing the retention and graduation rates of those students. This is accomplished by peer mentoring, established study groups, motivational exercises, leadership training, peer accountability, and the sharing and promotion of academic success strategies.
Eric is one of the most sought after young-adult motivational speakers in the country. His messages are dynamic and inspiring. He has been blessed to present his message of change to students at Duke University’ Football Program, NCAA Men’s Expert Coaches Academy, National Collegiate Sports Consortium, New Mexico State University’ Football Program, Western Michigan Football Program, Colgate University, Marshall University, Morehead State University, LaSalle University, University of Cincinnati, Michigan State University, University of Florida, Florida A&M University, University of Kentucky, Kent State University and a myriad of other venues.