Statistics indicate that African American females , as a group, fare poorly in the United States. Many live in single-parent households - either as the single parent mother or as the daughter. Many face severe economic hurdles. Yet despite these obstacles, some are performing at exceptional levels academically. Based on interviews with hundreds of successful young women and their families, Overcoming the Odds provides a wealth of information about how and why they have succeeded - what motivates them, how their backgrounds and family relationships have shaped them, even how it feels to be a high academic achiever.