From Street Smart to School Smart

From Street Smart to School Smart

The Unmaking of the Sisters of the Streets

David P. Sortino


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This story about 17-year-old Jewels Odom and 13 other ex-teen prostitutes gives Jewels and her 13 "sisters" a pulpit to speak to other lost girls looking for an escape from what they call the “streets of hell.” What separates Jewels from her “street sisters” is her ability to survive and succeed -- actually going to college to return as a teacher at juvie. This story ends with a mixture of successes and failures, but as always, Jewels is the one who has the final say when she tries to connect with Maya Angelou, the famous poet, to be the graduation speaker.


David P. Sortino:

David P. Sortino, PhD, has over 40 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, educational consultant and neuroscientist with at-risk youth. He is the former school principal with the Just Community Emancipation Program for ex-juvenile offenders at the Clark Academy. He obtained a PhD in clinical psychology and then worked at a north bay juvenile hall for four years as a moral development consultant, running groups and retraining staff about recent developmental theories, etc. He also taught several university courses in moral development and the life cycles.