LaToya Rodney watched the door of the jail cell swing shut. She was only 21 years old. A life of anger and violence put her behind bars, but it was a turning point for the young girl as her hidden talents began to emerge.
“The inmates would hear me singing and rapping. I would sing them to sleep.” The prison guards noticed, too, and encouraged her to pursue her talents. But after she got out of jail, her behaviour and anger got worse when her two brothers were shot.
“I was so into the gang life of retaliation,” she said. Finally, a friend convinced her to go to church.
“People accepted me. They didn’t know the dirt I had done in my life. They accepted me for what I was.”
Inspired to make a permanent change in her life, LaToya became a social worker and motivational speaker. She is back on the tough streets, but this time she’s making a difference in people’s lives.
"You have to understand where their brokenness and pain is coming from. It can be overwhelming at times, but I’m going to make it.”