The first part of my memoir is a vivid, emotional account of my journey. It is my hope that by sharing my story I will inspire and help other adults look beyond the emotional luggage a kid carries. I also want to make sure children and teenagers know that no matter what happens to them it doesn't define who they are. As educators, parents and compassionate adults, we have the opportunity, no, we have the responsibility to help them understand and believe this. In the second part, I share some of my personal experiences as an educator - some wins and some losses, when it came to creating relationships with youth, as well as exchanges and experiences I have witnessed along my journey.