When I first came to D.C., it was in 2005 — right after Hurricane Katrina. I never seemed to have enough money, and my drug addiction prohibited me from living how I wanted. I longed to be the way I was before I left New Orleans. Eventually, I started dealing drugs in order to make some “fast money.” I was scared–what if I got caught? What if I got busted? I thought to myself, is this worth it? Eventually I got arrested and sent to prison.

I sat back and did my time. Once I was discharged, I had the opportunity to either come back to D.C. or go to New Orleans. I chose D.C., but looking for a job was hard because I knew I couldn’t go back to drugs. Then, one day, my friend and I ran into a woman who told us we could make money by selling papers. I was skeptical, but my friend woke me up one morning and told me he had made a ton of money selling papers. So, I put myself in a spot and started selling the paper. The people buying from me started to like me more, and my family grew to such a size that I chose to write a book about my journey to independence.