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You Can't Change Your Past, But You Can Change Your Future

Born to an unwed teenager who at one time considered abortion as a viable option for solving her "problem," Reggie Dabbs considers himself fortunate to be alive. With no place to go, the pregnant teenager ended up living in a chicken coop in Tennessee. It was there she remembered a former schoolteacher, Mrs. Dabbs, who had said to her students, "If you ever need anything, call me," and gave the students her home phone number. The girl called.

Mrs. Dabbs and her husband, whose six children were adults by this time, took the girl into their home and cared for her until after the baby was born. They continued to care for little Reggie as foster parents until he was in the fourth grade, and then they officially adopted him and gave him the Dabbs name.

As the Dabbs' reared Reggie, they instilled in him strong moral values and taught him that in every situation he faced, he had a choice. What he did with those choices was entirely up to him. It was this reminder, and the reality of the love of Christ, that pulled Reggie from despair over his birth story into hope for the future.

In the sixth grade, Reggie began playing the saxophone and hated it. At the insistence of his parents he continued to practice and to play. Not until his freshman year in college did he actually enjoy the instrument, and today he plays with fervor and expertise and has shared the stage with artists such as Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans.

After graduating from college, Reggie began his public speaking career. During one speaking engagement, his host asked if he would be interested in addressing a middle school assembly. From that small beginning in 1987, Reggie has become a popular public school speaker, addressing more than 2 million people worldwide annually. He has spoken at festivals and events such as Creation East (opening night speaker in 2010), Planetshakers in Australia, Shout Conference in New Zealand, Kingdombound, Winterfest, Forward Conference, and dozens other church and civic gatherings around the world.

When addressing a school assembly, Reggie talks to the kids in a humorous style about their individual realities and the choices they can make. His message, “You can’t change your past, but you can change your future,” resonates with students from all walks of life. Thousands of students follow Reggie on Facebook and consider him a father figure after meeting him at a school assembly.

Reggie’s life story will be published by Thomas Nelson in April 2010 as REGGIE: You Can’t Change Your Past, But You Can Change Your Future (with John Driver)The message he shares with students around the globe will be accessible to readers everywhere, offering hope for every life situation.

Reggie makes his home in Ft. Myers, Florida, with his wife Michelle and their son Dominic.