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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
When a great story presents real-life experiences that make a reader reflect, then it is worth reading and re-reading it. This is what I suggest with Steve Mariotti’s Goodbye Homeboy. In this inspiring memoir, Mariotti recalls the beginnings of his nonprofit organization, NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship). The aim of NFTE is to teach entrepreneurship to low-income students to give them a better future. Mariotti’s story began in the early 1980s when he taught in the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. There, Mariotti discovered that his students had incredible potential but did not consider education a way to improve their lives. It was at that point when Mariotti decided to make a difference. He began to teach his students entrepreneurship to help them have a better future.
Perhaps the term “adventurous” does not seem to fit in this context at first. And yet, while I was reading about all the difficulties Mariotti overcame, this definition came spontaneously into my mind. Goodbye Homeboy recalls Mariotti’s courageous journey. It recollects adversities and joys and introduces exceptional people. I liked to read about the students’ backgrounds because they give an excellent idea of what these young people suffered. For their part, Mariotti’s efforts reveal his determination and commitment. There is a time to smile, a time to reflect, and a time to cry, but Mariotti’s honesty and candor always strike you. Despite what he achieved, he never gives the impression of lecturing, and yet he finds a way to offer sound advice. Mariotti’s efforts are commendable, and Goodbye Homeboy is the perfect book to showcase them.