Hope in the Hood

WINNER! GOLD Nonfiction Writers Book Award!

Midwest Book Review – Bethany’s Bookshelf, July 2017:  Critique: An inherently absorbing and impressively informative read from beginning to end, “Hope in the Hood: A U-Turn Out of Inner City Poverty and Crime with Empowered Youth USA” is an extraordinary story that is very highly recommended, especially for community and academic library Contemporary Social Issues and Race Relations collections.

Amazon review – David Lawrence Jr. Coral Gables, Florida: The beauty of life is this: One person can make such a difference for another. That is the Colleen Adams story, told in the new book, “Hope in the Hood.” A road map to a life of illuminating example, this book is the story of a giver, a do-er and a teacher of life’s most important lessons. Each of us can learn from her life and the stories she tells. Those stories reveal the pain and the promise in so many young lives. Colleen Adams has turned her own pain into purposefulness for others. So, too, do those teenagers and young adults. This book ratifies the reasons each of us can be hopeful and optimistic.

Hope in the Hood

Experience the magic of Empowered Youth

Check out the book trailer and documentary below!

Imagine a world where children’s role models are drug addicts and criminals. Where attending funerals of their friends seems as commonplace as hanging out at the mall and taking out the trash might result in being shot to death. Where electricity and functional plumbing aren’t guaranteed.

Is this some war-torn country or maybe a struggling third–world nation? No. Such is the life of poverty-stricken inner city AMERICA.

By stark contrast, Colleen Adams hailed from the racially segregated south in the 1940’s and climbed her way to the elite end of the social scale. But after accomplishing hollow success as a fashion and publishing marketing executive, Colleen heeded her life’s calling to tackle the hopelessness and despair of disenfranchised inner-city young men. But could one person provide the means for youth from the most crime-ridden and poverty-stricken neighborhoods to actually achieve the American Dream?

With incredible insight and determination, Colleen carved an innovative path of hope through Empowered Youth USA, but was ultimately forced to choose between the young men she had come to love and the financial security of her lucrative career. Would she turn her back on the boys she had grown to love?

Hope in the Hood is the inspiring true story of one woman’s improbable dream to carve a perpetual path to a brighter future for struggling inner city young men. Author Shirley Alarie conveys the raw and emotional struggles and successes through the voices of the young men, and the magic as seen through their mentors and judicial system experts.

Hope in the Hood is a beautiful reminder that one drop, even in the ocean, creates an expanding ripple.

Hope in the Hood is the third installment of Shirley Alarie’s Lemons to Lemonade series of inspirational nonfiction novels.


Check out the book trailer!

Notes from the Experts:

“I’ve seen the difference the Empowered Youth approach makes in the lives and futures of young people. Impressive. Colleen Adams’ vision is present — always.” – Dave Lawrence, Jr. Retired Miami Herald publisher and nationally known children’s advocate.

“Colleen Adams is saving lives. Few other programs stem the tide of crime like Empowered Youth does.” – Todd Bass, Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office: Juvenile Division

“Colleen Adams gives her all to the Empowered Youth program, offering a positive alternative to the pressing inner city conundrum.” – Carlos Martinez, Chief Public Defender, Miami Dade County

“Colleen Adams has replicated a tried and true methodology. She may not have a string of pearls but she’s got some of the very key pearls. My experience tells me she has the key pieces needed to turn things around in these kids’ lives. Our job now would be to make it longer and more consistent, more available to other children.” – Marie Osborne, Chief Assistant Public Defender, Miami Dade County

Check out The Left Turn, 26-minute documentary by  Xiao Fang. Email lynnfang729@gmail.com or website lynnfang-theleftturn


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