I WAS IN PRISON BEFORE I WAS EVEN BORN. SO BEGINS THE STORY OF DR. VICTOR RIOS WHO, BY 15, WAS A HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT AND GANG MEMBER WITH MULTIPLE FELONY CONVICTIONS AND A DEATH WISH. BUT WHEN A TEACHER'S QUIET PERSISTENCE, A MENTOR'S MORAL CONVICTION AND HIS BEST FRIEND'S MURDER CONVERGE, RIOS'S PATH TAKS AN UNEXPECTED TURN. THROUGH RIOS'S UNUSUAL AND DEEPLY PERSONAL STORY AND ITS INTERPLAY WITH THE YOUTH HE WORKS WITH AT YO!WATTS, THE UPSHOTS INTERROGATES CRUCIAL QUESTIONS OF RACE, CLASS & POWER - AND THE PROMISE AND PERILS OF EDUCATION - AT A PARTICULARLY URGENT TIME.