Born in Detroit Michigan Ben had a difficult childhood. His mother Sonya had dropped out of school in grade 3, and she got married at the age of 13. When Ben was 8 years old his parents got divorced and Sonya had to raise her kids by herself. She had to work 2 - 3 jobs to provide for her kids.
In the fifth grade Ben was at the bottom of the class,and his brother wasn't doing so-well either. So his mother Sonya was determined to turn their lives around. She limited their TV privileges. Each week they had to get out two library books and write two written reports about them. They had to give them to Sonya to remark. Because of her poor education, she was unable to read their reports, but she still tried. She also refused to let them play outside until they had finished their homework.
Unexpectedly in a few weeks Ben had astonished his class by knowing what type of rock the teacher was holding, he was holding Obsidian. When he answered, the kids in his class didn't know whether to laugh at him or be amazed. At that moment he knew he wasn't dumb after all. Each day he was hungry for knowledge.