First Chance: How Kids with Nothing Can Change Everything examines the remarkable triumphs of young people considered least likely to attain a college degree: those who have experienced foster care (three percent graduation rate) or the incarceration of a parent, especially a mother (two percent graduation rate). Some 2.7 million schoolchildren have experienced parental incarceration, while nearly 500,000 are declared wards of the state annually. Yet their experiences receive little attention. The young people themselves are frequently hesitant to talk about their lives, burdened with a sense of shame, even though they are blameless.Philanthropist and author Robert O. Carr has turned the focus of his college scholarship program, Give Something Back, on these often forgotten and neglected kids. As their stories reveal, they have the smarts and drive to compete with peers from more comfortable backgrounds. The author argues that these young people can draw on their special and painful insights to forge powerful change, provided society acknowledges them-and extends a first chance.