BOSTON (CBS) — All Steve Pemberton ever wanted was a chance.

Pemberton was raised in a broken foster care system where, he said, the family that took him in tortured him physically and emotionally for 12 years.

“I’m never going to know what it’s like having a mother or father. I hear people say they come from single parent home, my real reaction is I’m jealous because I don’t know what its like to have one,” Pemberton told WBZ-TV.

After years, through the help of a neighbor and a high school teacher, he was given a chance.

Pemberton has since been able to graduate from Boston College. His life story of how he persevered through the pain to become a business executive, author, and most of all, a proud parent has been made into an independent film called a ‘Chance In the World.’

Recalling the movie, Pemberton said, “He is so disturbed by what he sees that goes home and he writes in his diary this entry that this little boy doesn’t have a chance in the world. And I smiled when I saw that because I thought ‘well that’s exactly what I had been looking for all along– a chance in the world.'”

Pemberton and his wife, Tania, have their own family foundation called “A Chance in the World.” It provides support to organizations like Home For little Wanderers in Boston.

“There are a lot of kids experiencing trauma, similar to the trauma Steve experienced. They need a lot of help.” said Joan Wallace-Benjamin from the Home for Little Wanderers.

BC graduate Branden Getchell is also a product of Steve Pemberton’s mentoring.

“I wouldn’t be where I am in part because of so many people — but including Steve Pemberton. I can’t say that I would be at Boston College without him,” said Getchell. “I feel like he gave me the platform that I needed to really shine.”

Pemberton said he is so focused on giving back because he has been able to have a fulfilling life.

“If you have endured something, you fought through something, then that victory, in however form it comes to you, can help somebody else in their life.”


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