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Inclusive Influencer: Meet Derek

He’s a Special Olympics swimmer, plus softball & basketball player—and TikTok influencer!
Two images of Derek Baker, one of him working out the other of him speaking.

Derek Baker likes to celebrate all abilities—in himself and in others. Besides being a multi-sport athlete, he’s become a social media sensation, with nearly 3 million followers on TikTok.

With creative and technical support from sisters Jenna and Katy, the Baker Banter videos are quick and fun glimpses into Derek’s life, family and experiences. The 24-year-old has racked up 112M likes so far and getting attention from media, including Sports Illustrated and WWE. WWE superstar Drew McIntyre is among his biggest fans.

Derek also works at Pioneer Bakery, located in his hometown, St. Louis, Missouri, USA. To help us get to know him even better, he answered a few questions about sports skills, job skills, and the workplace.

  1. How did sports training help you prepare for becoming a TikTok star?
    Because I am a star. Any more questions? [laughs]
    Also, I am a team captain in every sport. This helped me be a good team player. Being on a team helps a lot with my communication skills, too.

  2. What surprises people about your skills, especially as a social media personality?
    I have a lot of skills you don’t know about. I’m an awesome singer. I also have a good vocabulary and that surprises people.

  3. How do you think the world can benefit from having more people with intellectual disabilities in the workplace/leadership positions?
    It’s really relevant to who I every time during Pioneer (Bakery) shifts. Really relevant and I like it, I love it. Differences make the difference!

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