PHILADELPHIA – By the time he was eight-years-old, Jawara Griffin, was abandoned by his crack-addicted mother and left squatting with his siblings in a condemned crack house with no running water or electricity. Rather than become debilitated by the trauma he encountered while homeless, living in foster care and group homes, or his brief stint in jail, the author of the recently released autobiography, “HomeBoy,” says his challenging childhood motivates him to spend his life and career inspiring and empowering others.
“When I look back at my life and try to figure out why I didn’t end up as a statistic like many of the people I knew, the things that were consistent once I got on the right track are my perseverance, positivity, and preparation. I also sought out mentors,” says Griffin. “I realize that mentors had a positive impact on my personal and professional growth and it’s incumbent upon me to pay it forward. I’ve mentored several young people going through challenges and encourage them to be resourceful, self-reliant, positive, and prepared to take advantage of opportunities. I hope that message resonates in the book.”
“HomeBoy” is a heartfelt story about growing up a ward of the state in North Philadelphia. The book is a gripping testimony to how hard-work, determination, and positive mentors can transform a lost “home boy” and low-level hustler with a bad attitude, into a successful criminal attorney fighting for the rights of the indigent and disenfranchised.
In the forward to the book Griffin’s former law school classmate, Denis Gelnnon describes him as “cash-poor and rich with integrity.” Gelnnon coontinues, “He was resourceful and proud. I watched Jawara’s transformation from an aggressive, street smart kid from the hood, to an articulate, well-dressed, polished attorney… It wasn’t until he asked me to read the manuscript of this book that my eyes were opened to his earlier journey… I never heard him utter a complaint about the hand he was dealt.”
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