Cedric Jones, 33, published the book to reach out to struggling youth and provide hope for a brighter future.
"I wrote about my life story, mainly for people about to finish high school or in their early college years, who may be wondering about their destiny in life," said Jones.
"We're told in this country that after high school you need to go to a higher school, get a college degree, get a good job and live happily ever after," he added. "I tried college a few times and it just didn't work for me — I felt like a failure and for a while, even gave up trying."
Through an invitation to the Fresh Encounter Ministries in Merigold, Jones said his life changed forever when he let God lead him down the right path — not societal norms.
"You don't have to have a college degree to find out your destiny — only God can reveal that," he said. "We must learn our destinies from Him and obey."
After academic struggles, career changes, moving to different states, hanging with the wrong crowd and substance abuse problems, Jones said the only solution was putting his life in God's hands.
In the book, Jones outlines the 12 keys to success — helpful tips for turning a struggling life around.
He said the experience of completing his first book was exciting, and he's in the process of planning a second manuscript.
"I never imagined I'd be writing my story and sharing it with others. It feels great knowing that my book might help others.
"I am a successful young black man from poverty, but there is so much you achieve when you listen and obey God," said Jones.
"The Keys to Success" was published mid-October by PublishAmerica.
Visit www.publishamerica.com to purchase the book.