Kevin Dorival the author of The Courage To Believe

Succinctly, life is about choices. Black Sheep said it best in the classic hip hop cut “The Choice is Yours”.

You can get with this, or you can get with that
You can get with this, or you can get with that
You can get with this, or you can get with that
I think you'll get with this, for this is where it's at

Unfortunately, the choices you make as a young adult or teen set the tone for the rest of your life. Navigating the “this” or “that” is difficult for a young adult in urban areas. Indeed, for Kevin Dorival, navigating the crack infested terrain of Pompano Beach, Florida proved to be a difficult task. Yet, Dorival overcame by choosing the correct path. Dorival documents his survival in his autobiography “The Courage to Believe”.


Seeking refuge from the François Duvalier, Dorival's parents immigrated to Pompano, Florida. Although Pompano was a crime invested area of Florida, it was significantly better than Haiti. A young Dorival vividly remembers seeing drug sales and addicts often. He quickly became desensitized by the violence and drugs. As his parents sought refuge in Pompano, Dorival sought refuge at school from the heat on the street and sun. “I couldn’t wait to go to school for the free lunch. The fact that we were safe, and [there was] also the free air condition” says Dorival.

Dorival's father was out of the household early, but there were several surrogate fathers – uncles, teachers, and coaches that helped establish a framework of a man. Unknowingly, his boss, a white man helped instill the importance of education, work ethic and business skills. “He went to Wake Forest, [and] he played a father figure in our lives”, says Dorival. On a partial athletic scholarship, Dorival went to South Dakota University.


Dorival seemingly was on the right path at an university in South Dakota. The cold and calm, South Dakota is the polar opposite of the hot and hectic, Pompano. The wholesome South Dakota was a culture shock for a young man, who was desensitized to the reckless streets. Dorival explains “It was my first time being on an airplane. It was my first time seeing snow. It was my first time being away from home.”

After a year in South Dakota, Dorival is homesick and decides to move back to Pompano. In hindsight, this was a turning point for the worse. Men like Dorival get accustomed to the dire streets. All the years they try escaping the hood, but it’s the only place that feels like home. While in Pompano, he fell on hard times, and Dorival says “I ended up putting my life in jeopardy”. At age of twenty one, he went to jail for eight months for a burglary charge.

This is where it’s at.

Engine, Engine, Number Nine
On the New York transit line
If my train goes off the track
Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!

As life falls off track, you have to pick it up and get back on track with the right choices. The jail sentence was a wake up call. While in jail, he had an epiphany. The series of bad choices had landed him in jail. So, a new set of choices were in the horizon. In jail, he wrote down all the goals he wanted to achieve. One of them being graduating from college, and a few years later he graduated with a political science degree. He now spends time mentoring youth on choices, which is the real inspiration behind the book. “The Courage to Believe” is the survival guide for kids in the streets to circumvent bad choices.

Download "The Courage to Believe" on Amazon