Byron Pitts discusses his new book, 'Be the One'

Byron Pitts opens up on his new book and his purpose in life.
9:26 | 05/15/17

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Transcript for Byron Pitts discusses his new book, 'Be the One'
Skidded ABC Brady Allen and today I'm excited to be talking to be one the only ABC news correspondent that the eight. Nightline you have many accurately the growing list at with Fey and one of the growing. I lift the items is this new book. Mr. Byron Pitts and today we're talking about this book that you wrote. Be the one which is inspiration on mustang I can't imagine how Sabatini to read through it and I was reading some of the stories about these young people. So first things first this book is going to be out. Two stay yes. Yes yes and what I'm very interesting is that you know looking into these stories. You kind of start off with your own a little bit about what you went through and I start there if we can't because I I feel like that's such a pivotal. Story that people should know about your grandmother and some of the things that she. Was able to say TUN and steal they knew that may do the person you are today so can we can meet cute little but how sorry if you don't mind she. Or Roberta may well there from apex North Carolina Miley grandmother wonderful woman kind soul great cook. Whatever I would see here in the summer and I would see every summer growing up she agreed at the door she could mean big hug she kiss on the cheek and she whisper Murray hearing you're the one. Op which was always so joyous me I'm Al cicada race plus single parent and learn to read until I was twelve. Spoke with a stutter until I was twenty you so to have this adult. Brief kindness and in into me and encouragement always looked in my sphere. And so for me it was less of a compliment but more this sense that you're the ones you can. You can have a good life you you'll figure it out at some point despite my challenges. It's a moving forward seem like a nice title for this book for all these young people I met who had all kinds of challenges from sexual abuse to drug abuse to. Mental health challenges bullying. That. On their own in some way they chose to change your own fate certainly they had they got the help adults. But they made the choice that they were dealt a bad hand for they can have a better life. And also what you are able to do in this book which I think is very important. Is that you helped to in many ways we define the definition of what it means to be here or. And I would expand on that a little bit more if you can because. You know we see what people see in the sense of these guys who save somebody's life there. Firefighters or policemen are all different types of people but. These individual stories of these young people who are overcoming such odds are also hero skinny sparkled at. Without question right at me when we talk about professional athletes. Performers as heroes find all well and good. I prefer those people who save us as you mentioned firefighters. The men and women who serve in the military. Doctors. Educators but these children also saved lives they save their own. And their efforts were her raucous as one boy who he and some friends when war broke out in Congo he walked. From the Congo to south act South Africa took them two years'. And endured all kinds of hardship. This young woman who saw her mother attempt suicide. And then exit to raise your siblings on her own for a number of months she was twelve years all the courage it took to do that this that the one girl some of the the central figure in the book. Bomb a young woman who was sexually abuse in Foster care abandoned by her mother. But half the middle toughness to think despite her circumstance that life could be better. I'm going to won the one thing to all these two things you all these kids have come their six of them. Six separate stores one they are incredibly optimistic. Not naive about the world but optimistic about what life can be. Any other thing is they are tough like these are six kids' if you're in an Alley in a fight you want these kids with. Very tenacious Alvin and attacked her. So I am I I think this book in many ways. As a particular relevance. Today I think that one of the things that we see people. Being extremely vocal and they have to rout the history of of our world our nation rather. But I I think it's very interesting that now this book is coming out key talk about the timeliness of it and it was just something that you. Hatton a mindset about things I want does that could I'm sure you know you have these conversations part two why now why is his book important do you feel at this particular period. Well great question a couple things like I think all of us have a purpose right ms. personal faith like I believe all of us here for reasons. Opera girls who once faith tradition I'm Christian on baptists but respectful of all faiths. And so I decide few years ago that mine relying like my purpose in life beyond being a journalist my job which a team for seriously is to encourage people. Inside look for opportunities to encourage people and so I saw the stories of these young people as an example to encourage. New kids in high school kids in college teachers who work with young people parents aunts and uncles who have someone in their life they were saying. Boom baby you can make it here's an example it's a section people who overcame all kinds of hardships. And so long live messrs. I think. You know in the news recently is an eight year old boy that's some question about how we guy. The video ten in school he was bullied and beaten in classmates stepped over him. A stepped over him. The kitchen this book. Some of them had similar experiences. When they were his age. But each of them found a way to get through that sauce thinking about that an eight year old boy in that moment and not just him what was going on his mind who is going on the minds those of his classmates who stepped over him who did nothing to help him. On in it was a reminder to the that there are lots he kids regardless of race economic circumstance who were hurting. And I won this book to be a space that they would fill encouraged. Absolutely. And I think you being dismal innovator that you this encourage your also speaks volumes to how you cover your story not talk about. On the we need I mean have you recently talked to these young people and how they now are there any particular stories that just kind of you know. Sticks out in your mind as something that now you're saying wow I can't believe what that initial conversation was where we are today that you can share sure. Well the book was prompted by this young girl I met in my hometown of Baltimore. After my first McCain mouse yeah torn the country and talking to school kids in music of the questions I get from students and in high schooler and college middle school. Is Dino Jay-Z have you ever eighty beyond bright what kind of car Ager. Talker questions but this one particular on the submit this middle school in Baltimore in my hometown. Waited so I talk sulfur classmates teachers and she asked reversible question choose eleven years old. She said mr. Pitts when you were my age who knew eleven years old Baltimore. Rich ago British high when the world hurt too much eleven year old girl. Took our breath away right. And it's you know became pen pals and and remain close to this day years later. But it struck me that that's probably a question that I think all of us ask at some point now alive. And I think a lot of young people asked that question you know astronaut Thomas I lecture allotted at universities. Across the country. I'm struck by young people a man who were who were on the surface doing well academically. Pursuing their education. But who are hurting who were afraid. About what the future may hold who who questioned her own ability. And so I thought yeah a lot of people a lot of this asked a question. Word or why go read or hide when the world her too much and so these six kids have very different places that they go. When there were parts. After end obviously. This is going to help expand their narrative. And that people can now be able to as you mentioned hopefully read this and be encouraged by these stories sing hey. These young people overcame such great eyes and they are like he set hero in many ways now. I'm moving Ford. We'll be part of do you feel like there'll be maybe a series in this because they feel like you know this is a great beginning point of these. Stories. I'd like to think so like in the back of the book there is a list and I'm excited about back the book they're all these places. The young people can go for help from suicide hotlines it information about drug abuse. To that information if they found themselves homeless first entered the recent simple places they can reach out. I hope so again I decide for myself and might lane. Just as a man suffer from being journalists which is important news and man of faith. Well yeah anchor Nightline. Encouraged to platoon and it's great show great magazine show. From doing that I'll be talking about the book for the for the near future again. I'm excited thank you so much for stopping by ABC radio according to they beat the line it's available it's Al and I'm glad that you're able to encourage us today with a special message for these people young people all people thank American partnered.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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