Author Event: Jonathan Conyers

Page 158 Books is thrilled to welcome author Jonathan Conyers to the store to discuss his book, I Wasn't Supposed to be Here, out September 5th.

You may recall the incredible story of a Humans of New York post featuring Jonathan Conyers and K.M. DiColandrea (nicknamed DiCo) that raised $1.2 million dollars to support a high school debate team. Stories about the success of the post were published in the Washington Post, NBC News, and others and even landed Conyers and DiCo a spot on the Kelly Clarkson Show. But that HONY post is only a part of Jonathan Conyers’ extraordinary story. In his new book, I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE HERE: Finding My Voice, Finding My People, Finding My Way, Conyers shares the full story of his journey escaping the precarious circumstances he was born into, and the teachers, mentors, and guides who helped him along the way.

Conyers met his high school debate coach, DiCo, at a pivotal moment in his life. At this point, he’d been bounced around between Virginia and New York, at times living in shelters or cramped quarters with relatives, with the constant threat of becoming homeless again. His parents, though loving, struggled with drug addiction and as the youngest in the family, his siblings moved on with their lives leaving him to figure out a lot on his own. “It takes a village to raise a child” is refrain we’ve all heard, but when you’re not born into one, it’s easy to become unseen, to fall prey to those who will take advantage. But Conyers got lucky. Born with a relentless spirit and a gift for academics, Conyers began to build his own village. And in spite of what might seem like insurmountable challenges, he began to thrive.


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 Times, Washington Post, The 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.

Event Type: 
Event date: 
Sunday, September 24, 2023 - 2:00pm
Event address: 
415 S Brooks Street
Suite B
Wake Forest, NC 27587
I Wasn't Supposed to Be Here: Finding My Voice, Finding My People, Finding My Way By Jonathan Conyers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538742501
Availability: On Our Shelves Now (Updated at the end of every day)
Published: Legacy Lit - September 5th, 2023