Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream
Publisher: Tantor Media
Date: November 2011
Duration: 7 hours 31 minutes
What can you get with twenty-five dollars and a dream?
Adam Shepard graduated from college feeling disillusioned by the apathy around him and was then incensed after reading Barbara Ehrenreich's famous work Nickel and Dimed-a book that gave him a feeling of hopelessness about the working class in America. He set out to disprove Ehrenreich's theory-the notion that those who start at the bottom stay at the bottom-by making something out of nothing to achieve the American Dream.
Shepard's plan was simple. With a sleeping bag, the clothes on his back, and $25 in cash, and restricted from using his contacts or college education, he headed out for Charleston, South Carolina, a randomly selected city, with one objective: to work his way out of homelessness and into a life that would give him the opportunity for success. His goal was to have, after one year, $2,500, a working automobile, and a furnished apartment.
Scratch Beginnings is the earnest and passionate account of Shepard's struggle to overcome the pressures placed on the homeless. His story will not only inspire listeners, but will also remind them that success can come to anyone who is willing to work hard-and that America is still one of the most hopeful countries in the world.