Step Out On Nothing

October 6, 2011 Updated Oct 6, 2011 at 10:30 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 6, 2011 Updated Oct 6, 2011 at 10:30 PM EDT

"Step Out On Nothing". Some good advice from an award-winning broadcast journalist who knows the true power of those words.

Stepping out on nothing is how Byron Pitts went from an illiterate teenager who stuttered to a network news correspondent and a member of the prestigious "60 minutes" news team.

"Step Out On Nothing" is the name of his book that tells the story of his slow and often heartbreaking struggle to achieve success.

After his parents' violent marriage ended, his Mom was left alone to raise three kids. Money was scarce. His mother could only spare a dollar after dropping him off at college.

Pitts came to town this week to sign copies of his book and speak to students at Medaille College and Riverside High School, giving them a good dose of inspiration and motivation.

His message is simple. If you work hard enough in America, your dreams can come true. Pitts says, "If I can make it, anyone can."

Sounds cliche, but when you read how Pitts overcame social, academic and financial problems with good old-fashioned hard work and a strong faith, you start believing again in those worn-out phrases.

Even during his early days working as a network correspondent, Pitts came face to face with naysayers who didn't think he had any talent.

His kind of hope is refreshing to a generation of young people who are often told what they can't do, and it's positive reinforcement that frankly, is something all of us need to hear.