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For years, Hill says he's received hundreds of letters and e-mails from young men who want to make something of themselves but aren't sure how.

Recently, he received a packet of letters from juvenile inmates at the Orange County Jail in Orlando, Florida, who had read his book. Hill decided to travel to Orlando to answer their questions in person.

Hill meets with 29 inmates who are awaiting trial. All the men are 17 years old and younger. First, Hill leads a group discussion. Then he goes one-on-one with each boy.

Damon, a 16-year-old who is accused of armed robbery, tells Hill how his words have influenced him. "The minute I read the book, I looked at myself differently in, like, many ways," he says.

At the beginning of the day, all of the boys share their goals with Hill...except one. Travis, a 15-year-old inmate who's been charged with first-degree attempted murder, tells Hill he's lost hope. "I felt like my dream's been crushed a long time ago...ever since the first time I went to jail," he says. "I cannot find a person that can really help me to get where I'm trying to go."

By the end of their session, Hill says Travis had a change of heart and now has a dream for his future.
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FROM: The Man Who "Adopted" 6,000 Children
Published on January 01, 2006

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