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I Wasn't Supposed to Be Here: Finding My Voice, Finding My People, Finding My Way

As seen on Humans of New York, Jonathan Conyers introduces us to the teachers, his debate coach, a homeless man, and a boy named Diego who changed his life. Booklist calls it “a moving story about finding your supporters and building your future.”
Everybody was rooting for Jonathan Conyers after seeing his profile on Humans of New York went viral and sparked millions in donations to the Brooklyn Debate League. The kid who went from struggling to read to being a breakout star on his high school debate team, thanks to a life-changing friendship with his transgender debate coach, captured the heart of America. Jonathan’s story highlights the important role teachers play in opening up worlds of opportunity for the most vulnerable students.

In I Wasn’t Supposed to Be Here, Jonathan shares the full story of his incredible journey escaping the precarious circumstances he was born into, and the teachers, mentors, and guides who helped him along the way.

Born into a family crippled by addiction and homelessness, Jonathan “failed” kindergarten and was told he would never succeed academically. But instead, Jonathan found ways to defy the limited expectations placed upon him by building a village to save his own life, and realize his dream to get into medical school.
Throughout this heartwarming memoir, we meet the unique and diverse cast of characters who made up Jonathan’s village and helped him change the trajectory of his life.

Jonathan Conyers is the cofounder of the Brooklyn Debate League, a nonprofit whose mission is to bring speech and debate to at-risk communities. He has been featured in the New York TimesWashington PostThe Kelly Clarkson Show, and more. A graduate of Stony Brook University, he is the founder of Conyers Media and the host of The Professional Winner Podcast. In addition, he is a respiratory therapist at NYU Langone Medical Center, specializing in neonates and pediatrics.  He lives in New York City with his wife and three young children.