Kevin Brown sharing his message of hope with Detroit's youth - FOX 32 News Chicago

Kevin Brown sharing his message of hope with Detroit's youth

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Kevin Brown, the author of "Counting Crows"  (Credit: MyFox Detroit) Kevin Brown, the author of "Counting Crows" (Credit: MyFox Detroit)

DETROIT (MyFox Detroit) -- Kevin Brown faced some of the worst, most tragic circumstances imaginable, but he's taken his story and is using it as a way to inspire young people in Detroit.

"Regardless of what you go through and regardless of the things that happen in your life, regardless of your economic disposition, that you still can achieve success," said Brown.

He is living proof.  He grew up in a home on Detroit's east side.  He hasn't lived there for years, but the memories are still fresh.

"I remember playing football on the grass... or playing football in the street."

However, many of his memories of life in that house are not pleasant at all.  He lived through abuse, neglect and depression.

"I isolated myself from people, and it was very difficult as a child to go through because you didn't have that connection, you didn't feel that love that most children have."

The only place where he could find what felt like love was a gang, and at 17 he was arrested for armed robbery and sent to prison.  That could've been the end of his story, but Brown was determined to defy the odds.

"A lot of kids that grew up in the same neighborhood that I grew up in (ended) up dying or going to prison themselves and never (recovered) from that, but prison, for me, was actually an intervention."

An intervention that helped him realize he had options and a future.

"When I graduated from Wayne State University, I was the number one male graduate."

Brown knows there are plenty of young people all over Detroit who are going through exactly what he went through.  He speaks to groups all over the city and juvenile offenders, all in an effort to share his message of hope.

"I come from the similar background that they come from, the same school systems, the same neighborhoods, faced similar circumstances and look what I did."

Now this man who once was called illiterate has written a book titled "Chasing Crows".  The brutally honest autobiography paints a picture of what Brown faced and overcame.

"It wasn't that difficult to get personal because I knew what was at stake.  I knew that I could help somebody else achieve their dream."

Hopefully stories like Brown's will help other young people see just how big their world can be.

"Once that people want more from themselves and see that they can achieve, they will."

For more on Kevin Brown and "Chasing Crows" you can visit www.Facebook.com/ChasingCrows.  He also has a book signing on Thursday, September 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Fountain Bistro in Campus Martius.

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