Nicole Mason was born in Compton. Her mother was 16 years old and a high school dropout. Her father was a small-time drug dealer who left when Nicole was young. No one in her family had finished high school. Today, Mason has a PhD and is a social scientist who focuses on issues of poverty and economic security. In her new book, “Born Bright: A Young Girl's Journey from Nothing to Something in America,” she tells the story of her childhood and she uses it to illustrate the many reasons that it’s so difficult to escape a life of poverty.