It's a hard-knock life, but "Precious" is no "Annie." The film, which opened Friday, chronicles the life of a 16-year-old teenage girl raised by a single parent in an abusive home.
"Precious" is based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire. While the story is fictional, it mirrors real-life struggles many teenagers face.
"I was homeless before, I had to go into a shelter, and it was hard for me", said Ashley White, now an adult and local teen case manager.
She and two other area women faced tough issues growing up and were motivated to do something.
The women have worked with Crittenton Services of Greater Washington, which provides local teenage girls with life skills, pregnancy prevention and prenatal services.
And like the movie, they know what's it like not to have a father.
"That played a big role in the way I acted in school and the way I felt about myself," admitted Tia Dolet, a teen advocate.
A recent survey conducted by the group shows 61 percent of local eighth through twelfth graders felt "voice-less" in middle and high schools.
The women describe the movie "Precious," starring comedian and actress Mo' Nique and singer Mariah Carey, as a call to action.