[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/10/art.tucker.ypwr.jpg caption="Tiffany Tucker, 25, is the founder of Redemption, a youth empowerment organization based in Brooklyn, New York."]Tiffany Tucker’s smile beats her into any room. Her smile gets even brighter when she says, “the door is always open!” That door refers to one that goes into her brainchild, Redemption.
She thinks everyone in her community in Brooklyn, New York, including herself, deserves the chance to be saved or rescued. Tucker, 25, was raised by a single mom, and she knows that New York City’s streets can be mean. But she didn’t let them swallow her, and if it’s up to her, no other young person will be swallowed, either.
Redemption promotes self-esteem and leadership skills for kids 13 to 19 years old. Tucker’s program has offered more than 3,000 urban kids and teens life skills workshops, college coaching and one-on-one counseling. According to Tucker, her open-door policy has led to a huge success rate: 85 percent of students in the mentorship program have graduated from high school and signed up for higher education.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview