St. Pete author giving away hundreds of books to empower youth

Posted at 5:07 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 17:07:08-04

Ricky Roberts III says his life was spiraling out of control.

“I was letting the anger and dysfunction, being in poverty and all these things from my childhood control me as a person,” said Roberts.

In his younger days in St. Petersburg, life wasn’t easy. He says it was when he was stabbed nine times in Ybor City one night with friends; he realized he had to make a change immediately. It was at that point, he started writing his own story of empowerment, inspired by his struggles. That work started in his journals and has now translated into five books. One of those books changed the life of 19-year-old Jermaine Robinson.

“Insightful, empowering and loving,” said Robinson.

Robinson, much like Roberts, struggled living in St. Petersburg as a child. His family was homeless several times and other issues followed. He says “Just for Youth,” Roberts’ fifth book, changed his direction.

“It was brought to my attention the things that I need to work on in myself and to believe in myself more. That’s still a process I am going through,” said Robinson who is now a college student in New Jersey.

There is a bigger picture with this story though. Roberts has also started the “Give 1, Take 1” program. When people go online and buy his book, he will then donate a book to a young person in the community. Last year, the campaign made it possible for some 225 books to be given to young people around Tampa Bay. Roberts hopes more than 300 books can be given at the end of this campaign which ends in six days.

If you would like to contribute to the Give 1, Take 1 program, visit Roberts’ websites at: