Gas Money Book by Troy Lewis

Gas Money Book by Troy Lewis - Gas Money is a collection of true stories told from the perspective of a six-year-old black boy growing up in 1960s Virginia and his soul-searching journey over the next five decades.  Packed with much humor, lots of inspiration and occasional sadness, Gas Money is a heartwarming, honest narrative that shows how the everyday people we come in contact with can shape our lives forever.

speaking engagements

Troy Lewis is a dynamic motivational speaker who delivers highly interactive and thought-provoking talks on personal empowerment, life lessons and living graciously.

Through his personal experiences, he will show your audience the power of Gas Money and how it can be applied to everyone's daily life.


- National Library Week Celebration at Valley Stream Central High School - April 2, 2019

On the heels of his successful Black History Month presentation, Troy Lewis returned for the National Library Week celebration, speaking to 10th, 11th and 12th graders in six English and Social Studies classes at Valley Stream Central High School in Valley Stream, New York.

During your presentation, I watched how the students were captivated. They enjoyed hearing about your experiences and how each story gave you “Gas Money” to get to the next venture in life. I have received overwhelming responses from students and faculty about how professional your presentation was.

You said you hoped that you reached at least one student. I have to inform you that you reached many students. Thank you again for making Central’s annual National Library Week Celebration 2019 the best ever!
— Lisa DiChiara, Library Media Specialist

- "Can We Talk?" Speaker Series at Moravian Academy - February 27, 2019

Troy Lewis was a featured speaker as part of the Moravian Academy's "Can We Talk?" initiative, presenting to the Middle School Chapel assembly of 5th-8th graders in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

We began with these words from 1 Corinthians 12: “Even though we are many, we are one body. You must never forget this. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part flourishes with it.”

We ended by singing “We Shall Overcome”, and Mr. Lewis wrote in a thank you note to the school about the emotional moment:

“Growing up in my circumstances in Middlesex County, Virginia, never would have I thought that 50 years later I’d join with a predominantly white audience of children to sing those lyrics. In my area of Virginia, there were people who truly hated integration and did everything they could to make that not occur. With the current divisiveness in our country, your Moravian students give me hope for a better future.”

Thank you to Mr. Lewis for sharing his stories with us, and becoming part of our ‘Gas Money.’
— Rev. Jennifer Nichols, MSS, MDiv, School Chaplain

- Black History Month at Valley Stream Central High School - February 28, 2019

Troy Lewis was a featured speaker during Black History Month speaking to 11th and 12th graders at Valley Stream Central High School in Valley Stream, New York.

Well, you certainly wowed the audience!!! I can’t tell you how much the Central faculty really appreciated you coming to speak to the students. We all enjoyed hearing about your wonderful experiences and lifelong lessons. After speaking to some of the students in the audience, they told me how much they related to your messages. Many students told me they were inspired by you. My principal said he heard such raves about you and was sorry he missed your presentation. Word travels fast around here at Central!

Thank you again for giving up your time!!! You were definitely a big hit!!
— Lisa DiChiara, Library Media Specialist

- National Read Across America Day at Livingston Elementary School - March 2, 2018

On National Read Across America Day (a celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday), Troy Lewis was invited to read to students at Livingston Elementary School in New Brunswick, New Jersey.


- Visiting Professor at Nyack College - February 2018

During the month of February, Troy Lewis was a visiting professor at Nyack College in Nyack, New York. The students used Gas Money to help with their narrative writing process.


- Black History Month at Sussex Avenue Elementary School - February 23, 2018

Troy Lewis was a judge for 3rd-5th graders' Black History History projects at Sussex Avenue Elementary School in Morristown, New Jersey.


- "Life's Course" Speaker Series at Moravian Academy - February 22, 2018

Troy Lewis was a featured speaker as part of the Moravian Academy's "Life's Course" Series, presenting to a school-wide assembly of 400 9th-12th graders in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He also spoke with Advanced Placement History classes, sharing his perspective and experiences on the ramifications of the “separate, but equal” Plessy vs. Ferguson U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

The talk Mr. Lewis presented at our school was, in a word, spectacular. He held the students and myself spellbound as he told humorous and poignant stories from his life and book. It was wonderful to see the students so animated as they left the auditorium retelling their favorite parts to each other.
— Michael Brolly, 11th and 12th Grade English Teacher
As a teacher of AP US History, I am so grateful for the opportunity to have welcomed a “primary source” like Mr. Lewis into our school assembly and into my classroom to offer his powerful testimony as a young African-American man growing up in Virginia during such a critical time. Mr. Lewis brings passion and wisdom to the classroom in such an intriguing and heartfelt way. His “truth” is utterly amazing and a blessing to students’ ears.
— Richard Polgar, US History Teacher
Thank you again for your thoughtful presentation to our students last week. Your stories are indeed powerful, and you tell them with warmth and love. We really appreciate your guest teaching, and the knowledge and inspiration you offered our students.
— Rev. Jennifer Nichols, MSS, MDiv, School Chaplain

- Black History Month at Green Grove Elementary School - February 1, 2018

Returning for his 3rd year, Troy Lewis was featured as a Black History Month Mentor speaking to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Green Grove Elementary School in Neptune, New Jersey.

“Are you famous?” “Are you rich?” “Did you really write that all by yourself?’ “You were my favorite speaker, Mr. Lewis!” These are just a few of the statements made by the students of Green Grove Elementary School when Mr. Lewis visits their classrooms during Mentor Speakers Day, the kickoff to our Black History Month celebrations. Mr. Lewis became a veteran speaker at the Green Grove after making a lasting impression during his first visit in which he shared about his childhood experiences and his journey to becoming the author of “Gas Money.” Mr. Lewis quickly became a favorite guest speaker, and students who have listened to him the previous year anxiously ask their current teachers if “The Author” will be visiting their class.

When Mr. Lewis walks into any of the classrooms, he forms an instant rapport and gains respect from the students. He is able to speak to children of varying grades on their level and manages to keep them on the edge of their seats listening and engaged.

Mr. Lewis is a true role model for all of the students, as well as the staff members. Green Grove is so lucky to have him as a recurring speaker to help enrich the students’ lives with his experiences, as well as being a motivation for the students’ to follow their dreams!
— Elaine R. Archer-Buckley, Neptune Township School District - Special Education

- NAACP Annual Fundraiser Banquet - October 21, 2017

Troy Lewis was the keynote speaker at the NAACP Unit 7091 Annual Freedom Fund Banquet held at historic Christ Church in Christchurch, Virginia.

On behalf of Middlesex County NAACP Unit 7091, I thank you for being our speaker at our Freedom Fund Banquet. You were OUTSTANDING! Your presentation was engaging and your story of your long distance friendship was heart-wrenching and hopeful! You blended our theme, “No Turning Back”, seamlessly into your presentation and left us believing Love can conquer all!

We wish you continued success and Godspeed on your journey. If we can be of assistance in the future, feel free to call on us. Thank you again.
— Minister Davelin Gresham, President

- Calvary Youth Enrichment Summer Camp - July 25, 2017

Troy Lewis spoke with teen members of the Leaders of Tomorrow Class at the Calvary Youth Enrichment Summer Camp in Morristown, New Jersey.

Thanks to Troy for taking the time out of his busy schedule today to meet with our Youth Enrichment Summer Camp aka YES Camp. Our Leaders of Tomorrow Class (LOT) has been reading Troy’s book Gas Money, and they have enjoyed learning about all of the “Gas Money” life lessons that are shared throughout his book.

I also appreciate that Troy took the time to join us for lunch, and then speak with all of the students in our camp and answer their questions.

Troy is obviously a gifted writer, but even more impressive is his outstanding character and the inspirational wisdom that he provided for both our staff and students.
— Ricky Osborne, Director, YES Camp

- Motivational Talk at Providence Middle School - April 6, 2017

Troy Lewis shared life lessons with 7th and 8th graders at Providence Middle School in Richmond, Virginia.

I cannot put into words the feelings of what I experienced yesterday at Providence Middle School with our kids in the MEGA Mentors and Young Men on a Mission programs.

Troy encouraged a room of 7th grade girls holding their attention for over an hour, took a 15 minute break, and then proceeded to encourage a room full of 8th graders for 1 1/2 hours. It was all the things a parent hopes their child experiences in a learning environment and in life; hope, love, encouragement, understanding, thought-provoking. He is a true role model.

Thank you Troy Lewis for traveling in the wee hours from NY to bless our youth.
— Gwen Epps, Female Lead Coordinator, MEGA Mentors

- Creative Writing Workshop at Roxbury High School - October 27, 2016

In fall 2016, Gas Money was added to the curriculum of Roxbury High School in Succasunna, New Jersey. Troy Lewis was invited to speak with over 30 students involved in the Creative Writing course. During the 6-hour workshop, he outlined his approach to the writing process and offered tips on "how to get started" while discussing Gas Money themes applicable to the students' lives. 

Troy established an immediate rapport with our students. His candor, sensitivity, honesty, and ability to discuss powerful, personal aspects of his youth while growing up as a young black man before and during the Civil Rights era both profoundly and intensely resonated with our high schoolers. The dialogue was real and very relevant, and Troy fielded all questions with his trademark openness, sharing himself with the students. Troy is a natural in front of a crowd of any age, and the students particularly enjoyed his humor and perspective as he discussed inelegant aspects of our country’s peoples and history with his own elegance and grace.

As an educator, I highly recommend Troy as both an informative and inspirational speaker for the high school environment. Our first invitation to Troy was to present his book, “Gas Money”, and his writing process to our Creative Writing classes. In fact, his message would be just as meaningful to a general assembly; Troy’s experiences and his inspiring way of communicating them are an excellent lesson in perseverance, self-discovery, and empathy. We hope to welcome Troy back into our school environment in the near future.
— Donna Rasmussen, Literacy Advocate/Librarian

- Friends in Need Children's Center Fundraiser Event - May 7, 2016

Troy Lewis was the Guest Speaker at the Fourth Annual Spring Fundraiser at Addison Park in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Troy Lewis is a wonderful presenter who pulled the heart strings of our guests through his heartfelt stories about growing up as a young boy in the south! His book “Gas Money” is an inspiration to the young and old. Troy is to be commended on his ability to overcome adversity! His message to youth and adults clearly screams to stay positive during negative times and lean towards doing the right things; you will have a brighter future ahead!
— Kathy Williams, Founder of Friends in Need Children's Center


- Black History Month at Green Grove Elementary School - February 1, 2016

Troy Lewis was featured as a Black History Month Mentor speaking to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Green Grove Elementary School in Neptune, New Jersey.


- NEXT Career Design - November 7, 2015

On November 7th, Troy Lewis was a speaker at the NEXT Career Design event. The event was held at the Kean University STEM Building in Union, New Jersey. A book signing followed his presentation.

I met Troy in October 2015 through his speaking engagement at the Next Career Design launch event. The event featured speakers inspiring others to take action, connect and create their life possibilities.

Troy shared re-imagining his life from pharmaceutical executive to self published author. We experienced his transformational journey through reflections on conversations with friends and family. They brought him to the realization that he could be a powerful storyteller making a difference in other people’s lives.

Troy spoke about the wisdom he gained from the generosity of others - no matter how seemingly insignificant at the time. His experiences as a young black boy in the segregated south and throughout the rest of his life are engaging lessons that everyone can relate to and want to share.

Troy is warm, authentic and giving. Beneath his soft-spoken quietness lies a magnetic wit and humor. He donated his time because he saw himself in our mission to create a movement connecting people transforming careers and creating lifestyles they love. From our first conversation, we connected around our interest in finding our own “best selves” and bringing our perspective to others. We spoke more often as the event drew near and I was impressed with his preparation and desire to make a lasting impression with every attendee. I am grateful for Troy’s selfless contribution to a successful event and his impact with our audience.

Troy’s book, “Gas Money”, is a testament to his openness, perseverance and deep connection with humanity. I hope it is the first of many projects he gives to the world.
— June M. Archer, Founder of NEXT Career Design