The compass: a book of poetry, diversity, reflection and direction, was written as a collection of poetry by the boys of Woodward Academy. The students come from many different backgrounds including street gangs, drugs, violence, abuse and neglect. Many of the students chose to write about their lives to leave behind a piece of themselves for other students to read in their struggles for a better life. The boys learned empathy, friendship, trust, compassion and tolerance while attending Woodward Academy and wanted to share these words with their families, friends, and peers. Most of all, they wanted a reminder of each other and the road they traveled together, to a better life.