Curtis Carmichael, social entrepreneur, activist, teacher releases his memoirs

Curtis Carmichael

His book, Butterflies in the Trenches, chronicles his life growing up in Toronto Community Housing and his bicycle ride across the country to share his message with Canadians

 Award-Winning Social Entrepreneur and STEM teacher Curtis Carmichael releases his augmented reality memoirs “Butterflies in the Trenches” today.

“Butterflies” is a gripping account of breaking the cycle of poverty and equipping others to do the same. The book works in tandem with an app developed by Carmichael to bring his story to life with hidden content activated by the reader’s phone.

“I know my story is special and I had a lot to tell,” explains Carmichael, who cycled across Canada in 2017. “Sometimes words aren’t enough, and this way I am able to capture every detail of my journey and immerse the reader through words, photos and augmented reality. The app adds a visual component that truly breathes life into the story.”

The memoir details Carmichael’s experience growing up surrounded by drugs, gun violence, police brutality and systemic racism in Toronto Community Housing in Scarborough. His parents emigrated from Guyana in the late 1980’s.

Throughout the book, he shares valuable lessons and advice he received from rappers, inmates, and hood philosophers that helped him on his journey to find purpose. These experiences led Carmichael down the path of activism, and youth advocacy, and influenced his decision to cycle from Vancouver to Halifax on a journey dubbed Ride for Promise. Along with talking about the issues in housing with Canadians at each stop, he raised funds for UrbanPromise Toronto, an organization that aids in funding after school programs in low-income neighbourhoods.

Curtis Carmichael book Butterflies in the Trenches

“Butterflies in the Trenches is a literary gem that speaks to hardships and heroes. History, or should I say his story, reminds me of my own,” exclaimed Michael “Pinball” Clemons, GM of the Toronto Argonauts, who wrote the foreword. “Mr. Carmichael has taught me that success is not making it out, it’s making it better.”

Carmichael holds a Bachelor’s in Physical and Health Education from Queen’s University and a BEd in STEM education from Ontario Tech University. He turned down a CFL opportunity to bike across the country.

Butterflies in the Trenches was written to document from a first-person perspective the massive obstacles and injustices that young people in these communities face on a daily basis. It shares the inspiring story of a young man who broke the cycle of poverty and found purpose through resilience, determination, and a desire to uplift his community; a community in which he still lives and works today.

Curtis is an award-winning social entrepreneur, technologist, STEM and hip-hop teacher, computer programmer, and the former Director of a Code Ninjas franchise. He is the author and mobile app developer for the World’s First Augmented Reality Memoir, Butterflies in the Trenches. As a self-taught computer programmer, Curtis built the mobile app which brings his memoir to life.

His cross-Canada cycling tour Ride for Promise raised $100,000 for Toronto Community Housing afterschool programs and was featured in an award-winning documentary.

Curtis’ journey has been covered by CBC National News, Global News, CityNews, The Tyee, USPORTS, and TEDx.

Butterflies in the Trenches can be purchased on his website: