Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Golden Pen Media Award

Author Justin Reed Early to Receive
National Network for Youth’s
Pen Media Award
at their
Annual Awards Dinner in Washington, DC January 26, 2010

Celebrates STREET
CHILD, Early’s Inspiring Memoir
that documents the lives and deaths of many street children

Los Angeles, CA –
Justin Reed Early, will be honored
at the National Network for Youth’s Annual Awards Dinner on January 26, 2010
with the prestigious organization’s annual Golden Pen Award.
Early is a successful
businessman and activist for homeless and disenfranchised youth, whose
childhood was marred by physical abuse, alcoholism, drug use and even child
trafficking when, beginning at age 10, he became homeless in Seattle and lived
on the streets for more than half of his life before moving to San Francisco and
entering his first recovery home at age 21, chronicled in his memoir
“Streetchild: An Unpaved Passage.”

Presented by the NN4Y
for his “tireless work on behalf of homeless youth,” the honor comes as a
response to Early’s literary articulation of a life on the deadly streets of
Seattle and San Francisco – STREETCHILD: AN UNPAVED PASSAGE was released in
2009. Early will appear as part of Symposium 2010 along with keynote speaker
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and HUD Deputy Secretary
Ron Sims. This year the National Network for Youth celebrates 35 years of
championing the needs of runaway, homeless, and other disconnected youth.

“We cannot think of a
better way to celebrate 35 years than by honoring Justin Reed Early and the
incredible contributions he has made to this country and our youngest
citizens,” said Kayla Jackson, Vice President of Programs for NN4Y. “Mr.Early has been where 1.5 million
American children are right now. He offers a message of hope, resurrection and
redemption, which is one of our most powerful tools for advocacy and
change. Anyone who reads his book
will be enlightened and moved by his commitment to pay it forward.” Kayla also
noted that Victoria Wagner, President & CEO of NN4Y, was an outreach worker
in Seattle in 1980 and witnessed much of Justin’s street life and now his

“I am flattered to be
honored by the nation’s most formidable advocacy group for disenfranchised
children,” said Early. “Working
with NN4Y and it’s national youth agencies to help move homeless children from
the streets into success and mainstream society is rewarding on its own; but to
be honored by people who are actually responsible for saving my life is very
emotional. Many of my peers did not live to tell their stories,” concluded

He continues his
grassroots campaign by sharing his story and providing free books at various
youth programs throughout the United States encouraging others affected by
abuse and homelessness into better lives.

Renowned photographer
Mary Ellen Mark captured Early’s life on the streets in a Lifemagazine photo essay,
and a teenaged Early can also been seen in the Oscar-nominated documentary
STREETWISE (1984). This true-life
journal was directed by Ms. Mark’s husband, Martin Bell, and produced by Lifewriter Cheryl

The San Francisco
Bay Guardian boldly states: “Hard luck memoirs have grown extra cheap in
recent years, partly due to the celebration of bogus ones. Justin Reed Early's
StreetChild: An Unpaved Passage is no such thing.”

Now a public speaker
and advocate, Early left his executive position in Beverly Hills to complete
and promote his memoir. He was a founding Board member of the popular youth
agency BAY Positives in San Francisco and served on
several youth committees. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

A portion
of the proceeds from StreetChild will benefit life enhancing non-profit
organizations, including many of those that helped Justin while on the streets. www.streetchildmemoir.com.

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