Author's troubled past now a message of hope - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Author's troubled past now a message of hope

September 4, 2007

Albany -- A nationally known author and community activist shared her story of personal redemption with young people in Albany on Tuesday.

Janice Higgins endured a tragic childhood. Her mother's boyfriend, who attempted to molest Higgins as a child, was later arrested for the murder of her mother. As a result of this, she then made a series of bad decisions as an adult that landed her in prison.

But she turned her life around, and dedicated her life to making sure others don't make the same mistakes she made.

Today, Higgins makes positive headlines as she tours the country speaking about her autobiographical book series called There Were No Parents Here. But not long ago this motivational speaker, whose childhood was marred by violence, was serving time in a California prison.

"When I got to this women's prison, it was wake up call. I made a promise to God that if he would do something with my life, that I would go back and give to society what I had no business taking. So, I founded Project R.A.G.E.," said Higgins.

Tuesday, dozens of Turner Job Corps students gathered at the Thronateeska Heritage Museum for the Project R.A.G.E. Forum. They learned how Higgins, who grew up without parents following deadly domestic violence, resorted to a life of drugs, violence and prostitution.

Through the pages of her book series and Project R.A.G.E., which stands for Release Anger and Guilt for Empowerment, Higgins works to send a positive message to encourage at risk or troubled youth.

"I want you to apply what I'm giving you to your life, so that you don't end up in the same situation that I did. Everyone has done something that they wish they had never done," she said.

Through interactive skits and Higgins' personal revelations, students like 18-year-old LeShawn James learned important life lessons.

"Keep everything positive, not negative, and talk to your parents more," said James.

And with that, there is proof that Higgins message is making an impact on others.

Tuesday's Project R.A.G.E. forum was sponsored by the Dougherty County Public Library.

If you are interested in ordering There Were No Parents Here (The Series), click the link below.

www.janicehigginsbooks.com

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