Today we’d like to introduce you to Travis Wolfe.
Travis, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a very poor and already broken family. By the time I was four years old, both my parents were addicted to crack and my father was also addicted to alcohol and was very abusive. I was 1 of 4 children and my three sisters and I witnessed so much violence and abuse it became the norm for us. My father was often either in jail or in the streets selling and using drugs, barely around. And when he was around, he was often beating on my mother. My mother was often getting high, either in the bathroom, in her bedroom or in the streets. So, my oldest sister, Tiona, at only eight years old often had to be our” mommy,” feeding us, taking care of us and making us feel safe while we were home alone.
We had moved to Woodbury, New Jersey, during a time when racism was still very in-your-face prevalent. Being the only people of color in our neighborhood and in our school, my oldest sister and I used to get chased home from school and jumped by groups of racist children, spitting on us, calling us the “N-word” and hitting us with rocks and sticks. When my parents would go tell the other children’s parents, they would also spit on us and call us the “N-word.” When we called the police, they took a report, yet did nothing more. No one wanted us in that neighborhood.
After getting evicted from our apartment and then eventually evicted from a motel we were living in, having no place to go, our mom took us to her mother’s house. When my mom left to go get high, (which was her response when things got too hard for her to cope with), my grandmother and my aunt placed my sisters and I into the foster care system. I was just eight years old. Ripped away from my mother and split up from my sisters. In the system, there was just more abuse, I was beaten constantly by my first foster mother, starved when I misbehaved and slapped in the face often for “talking back.” I tried to run away but got lost in the woods in Paulsboro, NJ and when I finally returned home, my family services caseworker was at the house waiting to take me to another foster home.
When I was just 11 years old, I was in my 4th foster home. And as if the physical, emotional and mental abuse wasn’t overwhelming enough for an 11-year-old child, the sexual abuse began. I was molested and raped more times than I can remember, by my 16-year-old foster brother. When I tried to tell my foster parents what was going on at night when they’d put us in bed and they’d go to sleep, they’d say things like “boy get out of here” and “stop with the fairytales” and they would just dismiss me and my cries for help. No one tried to protect me or save me from this trauma and pain. So I took matters into my own hands. One day, I set a fire in the woods behind a fire station hoping that the police would come and they’d take me away from there. The police came, indeed and I ended up in a group home for behaviorally challenged youth.
The trauma from all the abuse stuck with me for almost all of my life. It sometimes caused me to feel I was less than a man, even less than a human being and sometimes even made me question my sexuality and blame myself for allowing this to happen to me and for not doing more to protect myself. The feeling of being abandoned by my family caused me to blame and be angry at my parents for my situation and I acted out in many ways for most of my adolescence into my teenage years—becoming the “problem child” everyone said I was. My grandmother told me multiple times that I would “end up dead or in jail, just like your father,” and I believed her. So, I was right.
When I was 12 years old, my father got me out of a group home, but I used to feel so much hate toward my father for what I saw him do to my mother. So I never really respected him and he didn’t respect me either. He, just like my grandmother, used to tell me I was going to either end up dead or in jail. I was tired of being verbally and physically beat down by him and I was tired of being his punching bag. So, at 15 years old, I ran away from home. By the time I was 16 years old, I was homeless, and I was arrested when I was nineteen. It was a downward spiral to a terrible life and I was fulfilling the prophecy of what “they” said about me. But I got so sick and tired of being that person. I wanted to be more and have more and enjoy a wonderful life, married and raising children of my own. Most of all, I wanted to be happy. When I came to that realization… that’s when I finally saw myself.
I looked in that proverbial mirror and I saw my true self. I finally saw the only constant, the common denominator in every situation in my life… ME! At that moment, I decided to change. If I wanted a change in my life, I HAD TO CHANGE. I decided to finally take responsibility for my life and to make the difference that I wanted to make. To become the person that I wanted to become and not what “they” said I would be. My first mentor, Pastor Jeffrey Arthur, who recently passed on May 4, 2020, was the first person ever, other than my mother to tell me that he saw greatness in me. He told me I was an amazing human being with a great heart and great spirit and that if I just believed God and believed in myself that I could have, do and be anything I desired. I thought if he believed in me, even though I was on and off homeless, poor, and always getting into trouble in school and in the streets, then I can believe in me!
I began to set goals for myself and develop this belief in myself that I could overcome anything that I faced in life. After all, I’ve overcome a broken family, poverty, the foster care system, physical and sexual abuse and more! As I began to achieve these goals, I grew more and more confident in myself and my future. But then I started hitting roadblocks. I tried to become a police officer, something I wanted to do since I was seven years old, and departments kept telling me “no” because of my arrest and my background. 14 different times, I was told “NO” by six different police departments but each “NO” strengthened my resolve. When trying to achieve goals, some people hear “no” and it breaks them. They quit, give up, give in or endeavor to take on something new. I heard “no” and to me, it sounded like “keep trying,” “next time,” “almost there.” Did it hurt sometimes, absolutely, but I never lost sight of my goal. And eventually, in 2007, the Philadelphia Police Department, who told me no in 2003, hired me. Then in 2014, I got promoted me to sergeant.
Today, because of my resilience, ability to overcome adversity, my resolve to have a positive mental attitude always, and my commitment to viewing all situations from a positive perspective, I have achieved most of my life’s goals and I am constantly working on new ones. I’m a Temple University graduate, I’ve served in the United States Army, I’m a retired police sergeant, a business owner, award-winning entrepreneur, trainer, speaker, and author of “Go Be Great! Overcome and WIN!” I’m also an actor, my children, Aniya, Travis Jr. and Sky are respectively a director, actor and actress. And my wife, Diana is an entertainment career consultant. We are living the life we’ve always dreamed of and it started with me making a DECISION to have, do and be all that I desired and being willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. I taught my family to do the same thing and they’ve done tremendous things in this world and in the entertainment industry. To avoid this sounding like a like a brag-fest, I’ll just say if you want to learn more about us, you can google us. But please know that my intention is not to impress you, but to truly impress upon you that “WE ARE YOU!” We are no different than you so YOU too can have, do and be all that YOU desire and you too can achieve greatness in your life, as you define it, if you’re willing to do the work to achieve that greatness.
Today, I use my story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds and creating for myself and my family the life I’ve always desired to inspire others to do the same. Through my company, WolfeMpowerment Group, I’ve created programs that my team and I bring to universities, schools and youth groups. Our mission for our “Go Be Great!® NOW!” Youth Development Programs is to deliver high impact training to youth, their families and those who serve them; helping them to become confident, powerful and persevering high-output contributors to our communities, our economy and our world. Through our programming and everything we do, we empower and inspire them to strive for greatness in everything, everywhere, every time. We empower and inspire them to Go Be Great!®
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey has not been a smooth road. Some of my obstacles were overcoming my own thoughts, learning how to develop more self-awareness, self-belief, self-confidence, self-discipline and self-love and learning to take ownership and full responsibility for all of my actions so that I could change my circumstances. I had to retrain my unconscious mind in order to control my actions. Knowing that 90% of our actions and decisions happen unconsciously, meaning we have no control of those decisions and actions, I had to learn to train my unconscious to believe what I wanted it to believe so that I would get the results that I want out of life. Once I figured that out, my life went to new heights in every way. All my relationships with my wife, children, family, friends and all my professional relationships got better. I began to achieve more of my goals than ever before and I began to have the confidence and self-belief that I always desired.
Please tell us about WolfeMpowerment Group.
The mission of WolfeMpowerment is to deliver high-impact training that helps individuals develop the type of thinking that molds them into confident, powerful and persevering high-achievers that contribute to the progress of our communities, our economy and our world.
We specialize in personal development training and coaching. Through our training, we’re able to shift our client’s paradigm, helping them to create a new map of their world, changing the way they navigate throughout life. Establishing gratitude as the foundation, and having every thought enveloped by a positive mental attitude ensures every feeling will bring about a positive reality. Such is more conducive to success and absolutely more preferable.
What separates us from others is we lead with God’s ideals and function under universal laws and principles which transcend all things the human mind can fathom. The human mind acknowledges limits that may appear to keep us from reaching the levels we aspire to reach. But we foster extraordinary achievement and nothing less. What separates us is our mindset, the deeply rooted belief that we can help any and everyone whose path we cross. What reassures us is the evidence that we have. The movement we’ve started with Go Be Great!® is extraordinary and everyone can get behind it. We all desire to achieve greatness, but many of us settle. Our brain prefers us to be comfortable and forces us to deny our desires to be truly happy and fulfilled doing the things we love. It makes us take the “safe” route and then die unfulfilled—taking to our graves some of the greatest stories ever written, some of the greatest music ever composed and some of the greatest works of art ever created. At WolfeMpowerment, our love and passion for people won’t allow us to let you die unfulfilled.
I use my story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds and creating for myself and my family the life I’ve always desired to inspire others to do the same. Through my company, WolfeMpowerment Group, I’ve created programs that my team and I bring to universities, schools and youth groups. Our mission for our “Go Be Great!® NOW!” Youth Development Programs is to deliver high impact training to youth, their families and those who serve them; helping them to become confident, powerful and persevering high-output contributors to our communities, our economy and our world. Through our programming and everything we do, we empower and inspire them to strive for greatness in everything, everywhere, every time. We empower and inspire them to Go Be Great!®
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
You know, I’ve never been asked that question before. My favorite memory from childhood was when I was 11 years old. After becoming fed up with being sexually abused by a 16 years old young man, who also happened to be my foster brother, I had finally gathered up enough courage to fight and defend myself. When he tried to attack me for the last time, I fought with everything I had. I landed a successful roundhouse kick (like the ones I used to see in movies) and kicked him into a small pond. I found my power. I developed the belief that I could overcome anything, that I was powerful and didn’t have to be anybody’s victim. I developed the confidence to stand up for myself in the face of adversity and fight until I succeeded.
Not really what I expected to find when I looked within myself to pull out my favorite childhood memory. But a kid like me, who lost his mother at eight years old after being ripped away from her and thrown into the system by his own family; a kid who lost his innocence by watching my father threatened to kill his mother if she didn’t give him the food stamps so he could go buy crack and beer; a kid like me who struggled to find his identity, for almost all of his adolescent years… he doesn’t have nice, fun, warms-your-heart type of childhood memories. He finds the rose in the rubble, turns the negative into a positive and finds optimism, inspiration in the darkest place of this life.
- Address: 20555 Devonshire St. Suite 153, Chatsworth, CA 91311
- Website: www.WolfeMpowerment.com
- Phone: 2678168244
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/traviswolfesr
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/traviswolfesr
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/traviswolfesr
- Other: https://gobegreatstore.com