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Will (Keeps) Holmes

William Holmes, aka Will Keeps, was born into a traumatic life in Chicago, Illinois. At age seven, he was sexually abused by his step-father and felt neglected by his mother. Feeling confused, sad, angry, and lost, Will embarked upon what he never imagined would become a lifelong journey to find answers, only to realize his deepest desire was simply to have loving parents and a safe home.

Like many other teenage boys in similar situations, Will found a form of love and security in a gang, joining the Blackstones of South Side Chicago at the age of 13. But this lifestyle led to even more trouble.

At age 15, Will witnessed a rival gang murder his friend. When the gun was pointed to his own head, it jammed, but he was beaten and tortured nearly to death, leaving him badly scarred inside and out. Though he survived, this was only the beginning of Will’s second act, a life devoted to saving others.

Will moved to Des Moines, Iowa in his twenties, seeking to build a legacy of hope and opportunity he never had growing up and to give back to his community and the youth within it facing situations similar to his. Coupling advocacy with music, his greatest passion, Will found that his God-given abilities and his story of bravery and perseverance empower others to go down a better path. Will's story serves as a testament to the power of human resilience and one's ability to overcome huge obstacles in life.

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