By the time Alicia Cass is fifteen, she is homeless, a high school dropout, and out of options. Turning to the only family she knows she can trust-after her own family and the foster care system leave her abused and broken-Cass joins a gang on the streets of Los Angeles.
It's the 1980s-cocaine and gang violence are at an all-time high, and Cass soon finds herself in the eye of the storm, struggling for survival.
Cass's memoir is rooted in courage and determination. It's a story that shows what it's like for one woman grappling with the perilous cycles of abuse.
After a childhood buried under the emotional weight of abuse and fear, Cass emerges as a symbol of hope and the power of second chances. You will be inspired by her courage and touched by her eloquent honesty.
This riveting memoir delves deep into the gripping account of life in a gang-when you don't know if you can even trust yourself-and the only family you know is the one you have found on the streets.
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About the Author
Before Alicia Cass went back to school at age twenty-eight to obtain her high school diploma, she had experienced life as a teenage mother, drug dealer, gang member, high school dropout, and victim of sexual, physical, and domestic abuse.
But by thirty-four, Cass had earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California (USC). Three years later, as a single parent, Cass earned a master of social work from USC.
Cass received numerous awards and recognitions during her time at school, including the USC Black Alumni Scholar, USC Ambassador Award, and USC Trojan Recognition Award.
Armed with her powerful story of overcoming obstacles, Cass has shared her tale in documentaries, local churches, juvenile halls, and colleges-including Stanford University.
Cass is the founder of The Metamorphosis Experience, a non-profit organization aimed at helping women, girls, and youth that have experienced violence-related trauma, stemming from gangs and sexual, physical, or domestic abuse.
Cass is a mother of eight children and has four grandchildren. She is currently a doctoral student at USC.