My life story may sound sad and even tragic, but it’s a matter of perspective because for me, my story is a source of pride. Yes, I lived through things that no child should ever experience. But my survival and success against the odds proves that where there’s a will, there’s certainly a way. I was born in Florida in 1971, the second child to a teenage mother and an immature young adult father. My mother had her first child at 15, and not long after I came along. She didn’t raise her first-born. My father, who worked as a cook in restaurants, liked to drink and chase women after work. He would come home at dawn every day, only to sleep a few hours before going out to his job. When I was an infant, my mother would leave me by myself at home while my dad was away. Both my mother and my father neglected me.